(Clarksdale, Miss.) — A collaboration between Southern Bancorp and Aaron E. Henry Community Health Services (AEH) has been recognized as a 2022 Commitment to Action by the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI.) The two organizations will partner in a two-year pilot project in Clarksdale, Mississippi, designed to demonstrate the feasibility and economic development impact of integrating financial and health care services for low-income clients and health center staff.
“The connection between health and wealth has not been examined to a great degree, especially in the South,” said Aurelia Jones-Taylor, CEO of Aaron E. Henry Community Health Services. “I’m excited about this initiative because it brings together multiple industry sectors to examine the effects of poverty on health outcomes. Our hope is that this project and the findings from it will provide additional resources in the fight against generational poverty.”
Former President Bill Clinton, founder and Board Chair of the Clinton Foundation, shared in a video message, “In the town of Clarksdale, Mississippi…many low-income families rely on payday lenders to meet emergency medical and financial needs. In turn, a family’s financial instability can contribute to anxiety, stress, and negative health outcomes.”
The former president continued, “Today I’m proud to announce a commitment by Southern Bancorp, working with Aaron E. Henry Community Health Services Center in Clarksdale, and the Community Development Bankers Association, to improve both health outcomes and financial inclusion. Together this unique partnership built between the community financial institution and the community health provider will reach people where they are integrating financial development and social services onsite.”
Through this commitment patients at the clinic will be screened and referred to credit counselors as needed. The clinic staff will also be offered financial interventions, promoting economic stability, economic mobility, health and wellness.
Southern Bancorp, Inc. CEO Darrin Williams said, “The inclusion of financial services within health centers has the potential for promising outcomes for the health and well-being of low-income families. We hope to expand this partnership to our other service areas as part of Southern Bancorp’s ongoing goal to strengthen underserved communities through financial access and investment.”
CGI facilitates action by helping members connect, collaborate, and develop Commitments to Action — new, specific, and measurable plans that address global challenges. Through CGI, the community has made more than 3,700 Commitments to Action that have made a difference in the lives of more than 435 million people in more than 180 countries.
Founded in 1986 by some of the nation’s leading political, business, and philanthropic leaders with an initial investment of $10 million, Southern Bancorp, Inc., along with its development partners – Southern Bancorp Bank, Southern Bancorp Community Partners, and Premier Bank of Arkansas – has grown into a $2.3 billion asset organization with 54 locations serving 65,000 customers across two states. Southern Bancorp has a unique array of financial products and services designed to help individuals at all stages of life’s financial journey – from teaching kids how to save to helping entrepreneurs and families realize the American Dream. Southern Bancorp is a certified Community Development Financial Institution, certified B-Corp, and proud member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. Learn more at www.BankSouthern.com and www.SouthernPartners.org.