Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation secures grant to strengthen rural healthcare in Nevada County

(March 2018) - Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation is proud to announce it received $229,524 of a three-year $839,128 grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The grant funds will build the capacity of the Nevada County Health Collaborative, a 10-member health care collaborative led by Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and the County of Nevada. The Nevada County Health Collaborative is comprised of community leaders from a variety of local health and human services.

The collaborative will work to strengthen and advance the rural health care system in western Nevada County through a broad range of services in three key areas. The program will expand collaboration in the emergency department between substance abuse providers, emergency room physicians, primary care facilities, and behavioral health services. The program will also expand access to care through the use of telehealth — using telecommunications technologies to enhance health care, public health, and health education delivery and support. Finally, the program will expand chronic disease management programs, address social determinants of health to reduce health disparities, improve disease management and prevention, and increase access to services. 

“The partnership between all of the organizations, individuals, and businesses that make up the Nevada County Health Collaborative is essential for ensuring high standards of health, overall wellbeing, and access to quality care in our community,” says Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Associate Director, Sandra Barrington.

According to Barrington, who helped coordinate the grant application process, the first year of the grant will focus on implementing an emergency department nurse navigator, in collaboration with Western Sierra Medical Clinic. A certified alcohol and drug counselor will also be present at the hospital thanks to collaboration with Community Recovery Resources. Grass Valley’s Connecting Point will implement a social determents of health assessment and will assist in linking patients to resources. In addition, funds from the grant will implement telehealth solutions at Western Sierra Medical Clinic, and will train providers on screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment.

In years two and three, the grant will continue to focus on managing social determinants of health, implementing telehealth solutions, and increased employee training. The grant will also help expand the Care Transitions Intervention Program as well as trainings for chronic disease self-management facilitators.