The Tennessee Institute of Public Health (TNIPH) has issued an interim report on the innovative Regional Roadmap for a Healthier Appalachian Tennessee. The program, co-funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission, with support from the BCBS of Tennessee Health Foundation, the Niswonger Foundation, and Eastman Foundation, provides competitive mini-grants to 20 community-based organizations from 15 rural Appalachian counties in Tennessee. The counties impacted are Campbell, Carter, Cocke, Greene, Grundy, Hancock, Jefferson, Johnson, McMinn, Monroe, Putnam, Scott, Smith, Unicoi, and Union. The list of specific projects is on page 3 and 4 of the interim report. Prior to applying for the grants, community organizations attended a March 4, 2014 launch event in Greene County, sponsored by TNIPH.
Ginny Kidwell, Program Director for the Tennessee Institute of Public Health, who coordinated the project states that the goal of the project was to support local health initiatives that linked economic development and business organizations with health and human service groups and community stakeholders. Greater community involvement leads to health outcomes that effectively address local issues, Kidwell stated.
TNIPH is a state-mandated convener of organizations, agencies and groups established to build and foster collaborations necessary to improve the publics health across Tennessee. It is housed in the ETSU College of Public Health.