$187K invested into the health of southern Ill. residents - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

$187K invested into the health of southern Ill. residents


A program to combat chronic disease in southern Illinois has been initiated by the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine's Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development.

According to a news release, the Delta Regional Authority Alternate Federal Co-Chairman Mike Marshall introduced an $187,500 investment to work with regional partners and businesses increasing permanent work site wellness programs.

Illinois counties in the Region include Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, Union, White and Williamson.

Eight of the counties have the lowest health outcomes in the state, according to the Delta Regional Authority.

In addition, the DRA is participating in "We Choose Health’s Southernmost Illinois Initiative" because of high rates of chronic disease.

The investment is part of the Healthy Workforce Challenge that's funded programs in five states to incentive healthy lifestyles in the workplace.

This project will use the Wellness Council of America’s program in order to develop a toolkit for employee wellness promotion, according to DRA.

They will also help with local workshops, wellness training, classes and health assessments.

“It is very exciting to be a part of helping create a workplace culture that reinforces healthy lifestyles, bringing benefits to employers, employees, and the Delta Region,” said Jeff Franklin, Illinois Delta Network/Illinois CATCH onto Health Consortium Director.

Death rates from circulatory disease are 16 percent higher than national averages and 12 percent more area residents report they have diabetes compared to national numbers.

DRA Healthy Workforce Challenge awardees are also the recipient of a larger grant that will distribute $5.4 million to twelve sites across the Delta Region.

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