The Delta Regional Authority and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are collaborating to provide technical assistance to rural hospitals in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri in order to provide better healthcare to those most in need.

The Delta Region Community Health Systems Development Program is administered by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.

As part of this new collaboration, the Daughters of Charity Services of Arkansas in Dumas will work with Drew Memorial Hospital, Delta Memorial Hospital, and Chicot Memorial Hospital to build a coordinated and more efficient local health system, according to a news release.

DCSA is comprised of two rural health clinics and one wellness center serving Desha, Drew and Chicot counties.

The program is designed to enhance healthcare delivery in the Delta region through intensive, multi-year technical assistance to providers in rural communities, including critical access hospitals, small rural hospitals, rural health clinics and other healthcare organizations, the news release said.

The program provides hospitals and clinics with various financial, operational and quality-improvement assessments, consultations, educational training, planning and ongoing coaching to help healthcare leaders develop and implement a local health system that supports a continuum of care.

“Our region endures growing health disparities when compared to the nation as a whole,” said Peter Kinder, DRA’s alternate federal co-chairman, in the news release. “DRA is committed to improving the capacity of our rural communities so they can provide quality health care services to Delta residents. This program will provide critical support to rural healthcare facilities and enhance their services to improve health outcomes while strengthening the local and regional economies.”

DRA is collaborating with federal partners and rural health resource centers to assist providers and healthcare leaders with developing and implementing a system of care for their communities by targeting eight areas:Improve financial position and increase operational efficienciesImplement quality-improvement initiatives to improve health outcomesIncrease use of telemedicineDevelop a community care coordination planImprove the health of area residentsIntegrate social services to address socioeconomic challengesEnsure access to and availability of emergency medical servicesStrengthen workforce recruitment and retention needs

The Daughters of Charity Services of Arkansas is a community-based health and social service organization. And, “in the spirit of St. Vincent DePaul, we apply the principles of Jesus and the Catholic Church in caring for the whole person: body, mind, and spirit,” according to the organization’s website.

“We are committed to providing accessible and affordable primary health care and social services in an atmosphere of respect and kindness. We strive to remove the barriers that limit or prevent anyone from obtaining needed care of services. Believing that Christ is present in those we serve allows them to see Christ in us. We recognize that only by serving others will be able to show and experience the love of God.”

According to their mission, the DCSA is “dedicated to Christian values in our services as we provide quality, holistic care to individuals and communities in southeast Arkansas. Faithful to the Vincentian tradition, Daughters of Charity Services of Arkansas will establish and maintain neighborhood-based programs to increase accessibility in primary health and human services on the part of the less fortunate. These programs will have a strong holistic orientation and consider participation and empowerment as an integral dimension of the delivery of service.

“Rooted in the loving mission of Jesus as Healer, we commit ourselves to serving all persons with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable. Our Catholic health ministry is dedicated to spiritually centered, holistic care which sustains and improves the health of individuals and communities. We are advocates for a compassionate and just society through our actions and our words.”