USDA Grants Provide Health and Safety Education to Rural CitizensWASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $1.4 million in grants to enhance the quality of life in rural areas through improved health and safety education efforts.
“Children and adults living in rural communities are more likely to face health challenges associated with low levels of employment and education, geographic barriers, and a lack of accessible health care,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director. “This program addresses these challenges head on by providing citizens in rural communities with health and safety education that can ultimately save their lives.”
NIFA awarded the grants through the Rural Health and Safety Education competitive grants program. This program addresses these challenges by developing programs that provide the necessary health information to rural residents.
In fiscal year 2015, applicants to the Rural Health and Safety Education program were expected to propose health education projects that provide individuals and families living in rural areas with one or more of the following:
- Information as to the value of good health at any age
- Information to increase individual or family’s motivation to take more responsibility for their own health
- Information regarding rural environmental health issues that directly impact on human health
- Information about and access to health promotion and educational activities
- Training for volunteers and health services providers concerning health promotion and health care services for individuals and families in cooperation with state, local, and community partners.
- University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Little Rock, Ark., $162,364 –This project aims to educate Arkansans with limited resources and low health literacy so they can effectively communicate with their doctors and participate in their own health care, ultimately improving health for themselves, their children, and their families.
- Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Okla., $311,602 - This project will address the complex issues of rural caregiving by focusing on improving health literacy among family and consumer sciences educators, rural hospital discharge planners, and family caregivers.
- Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa., $295,562 - This project will address the significant gap in the availability of community diabetes education programs in rural areas of the state by expanding the Dining with Diabetes program across six rural counties.
- Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va., $315,747 - Rural communities of Virginia are disproportionally suffering from the morbidity, mortality, and social and financial costs associated with diabetes. To address the gap in diabetes education in the state, this project will expend Balanced Living with Diabetes program to 16 rural counties in Virginia.
- University of Wisconsin – Extension, Madison, Wisc., $350,000 - This project will increase the health literacy and access to services for rural residents in the area of cancer education and treatment while building capacity in health-focused coalitions to address rural health disparities.