Campbell partners with health center to receive grant to help diabetes patients

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust of Winston-Salem, N.C., has awarded a $399,000 grant for Campbell University to partner with First Choice Community Health Centers (FCCHC) for a collaborative project that will implement a diabetes navigator service program to high-risk patients with Type 2 diabetes.  

The goal of the project is to provide educational and medical support to Harnett County residents who are patients at FCCHC in order to improve the control of and reduce complications from Type 2 diabetes. That support will be facilitated through health care professionals called “navigators,” who will serve as health coaches and intermediaries between the provider and patient. It’s expected that patients participating in the program will experience lower healthcare costs because of fewer unnecessary visits to a hospital’s emergency department. The project will last a minimum of three years.

“The grant will provide a great opportunity for a variety of Campbell University programs to partner with FCCHC to improve patient health outcomes in our surrounding community,” said Brenda Jamerson, PharmD, project director of the grant and associate professor and director of the Clinical Research Center at Campbell’s College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences.

The navigators and participants will have access to software provided by Wellnessa, Inc., a health information technology firm, that will assist them in keeping up with appointments as well as with monitoring vitals and prescription medications. The software will also offer articles, videos and other learning material customized for each participant.

“We believe that this grant can help provide an additional replicable model of how to positively augment patient clinical outcomes,” said LeJon Poole, PhD, lead analyst for the grant and associate professor and director of the Healthcare Management Program in Campbell’s Lundy-Fetterman School of Business. “Furthermore, we’ll be able to ascertain whether there will be subsequent fiscal benefits when creatively intervening with the treatment of high-cost, chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes.”

Sheila Simmons, CEO of FCCHC, is executive officer of the grant.

FCCHC is a private, non-profit corporation headquartered in Lillington, N.C., that has provided community care as a federally-qualified Community Health Center for the past 34 years. FCCHC was established in 1979 with a mission to “provide comprehensive health care services, with excellence and compassion, for the entire community.”

FCCHC, in collaboration with community partners such as Campbell, continues to address health disparities, including high rates of diabetes. Through innovative programs in outreach, education and prevention, FCCHC reaches out and tries to energize the community to meet urgent health needs and promote greater personal responsibility for good health. 

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust was established in 1947 and is now one of the largest private trusts in North Carolina.  Its mission is to improve the quality of life and quality of health for the financially needy of North Carolina. Its Health Care Division promotes wellness state-wide by investing in prevention and treatment. The trust’s Poor and Needy Division responds to basic life needs and invests in solutions that improve the quality of life and health for financially needy residents of Forsyth County. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. serves as sole trustee.

Photo: Faculty in Campbell University's Lundy-Fetterman School of Business and College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences with staff at First Choice Community Health Centers (FCCHC), who will partner to implement a diabetes navigator service program to high-risk patients with Type 2 diabetes in Harnett County, N.C.