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The Delta Area Health Education Center will receive $50,000 in grant funds to enhance the program’s efforts to improve health care delivery. Helena Health Foundation and Southern Financial Partners each granted $25,000.

The funds received from Southern Financial Partners (SFP) and Helena Health Foundation will be used to hire a grant writer under the direction of the Director of the Delta Area Health Education Center (AHEC) in Helena-West Helena.

“The Delta AHEC provides services to the community that make it a tremendous local asset,” said Ben Steinberg, the President of Southern Financial Partners, “The Delta AHEC has developed its capacity to the point where it will now be able to greatly expand its health and wellness program and offer an even broader range of services to the community.”

The new grant writer position will allow Delta AHEC, the Helena Health Foundation (HHF) and other Phillips County health care organizations to access the many health-related grants available from sources including federal and state governments. Additional grant funding will allow the AHEC, HHF and other health organizations to sustain and increase current program activities in Phillips County.

The Executive Director of the Helena Health Foundation, Dr. Vasu, stated “This fulfills our mission to support and improve the public well-being and quality of life in Phillips county by helping Delta AHEC and other health related non-profits to tap the enormous resources that are available for Delta residents.”

The Delta AHEC is a seven-county health education program whose mission is to improve the health status and health care delivery of citizens in the Arkansas Delta. This mission is delivered through direct health education to consumers and professionals; facilitating educational partnerships between the communities of the Delta and health professional training programs; and coordinating resources in the Delta to maximize the efficiency of available health care.

Delta AHEC services were delivered to more than 42,000 citizens in the seven county service area in fiscal years 2005-06. The Director of the Delta AHEC, Dr. Becky Hall, said “We look forward to working with Phillips County health care organizations and assisting them in their efforts to write competitive grants. Increased funds for local health care organizations will create an improved health system for the people of Phillips County resulting in better health for us all”.

Southern Good Faith Fund, Southern Financial Partners, and Southern Property Corporation are affiliates of Southern Bancorp, a $500 million rural development bank holding company working to transform rural economies by stimulating investments in people, jobs, businesses, and property with banking operations in Arkansas and Mississippi.