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Milford health provider receives $675K grant for medical outreach

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Milford— Education Health Research International (EHRI), the non-profit arm of the Milford Wellness Village, has been awarded a federal grant of nearly $675,000 from the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to provide older homebound adults with the resources and support needed for chronic disease and diabetes self-management education.

Over the next three years, the grant will allow EHRI — in collaboration with WeCare, a Personal Health Nursing service in the Wellness Village — to train 100 volunteers on how to provide virtual educational programs to 1,000 homebound individuals in self-management of their chronic disease.

Homebound individuals will get the technology and training necessary to receive the at-home virtual education. The grant also supports funding that will provide the necessary equipment, such as laptops and iPads, to those who need it while participating in the program

“We are pleased to continue our mission at the Milford Wellness Village of filling gaps in healthcare,” Lon Kieffer, RN, Executive Director of the Milford Wellness Village and Program Director of the grant said in a statement. “The ‘digital gap’ where services are increasingly provided virtually is moving swiftly and leaving many elderly and homebound individuals behind. 

“Through this grant we will be able to provide the necessary equipment, training and education to help people in self-management of their chronic diseases, medication management and an on-going connection to an increasingly virtual healthcare system.” 

The initiative is part of the ACL Chronic Disease Self-Management Education (CDSME) Grant Program, funded by the Administration on Aging. EHRI is one of nine organizations that have received this grant and will work with older adults and adults with disabilities and engage them in evidence-based CDSME and support programs, particularly to those in underserved populations or geographic areas.

The evidence-based program is designed for adults with conditions such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis, who struggle to find ways to manage their condition.

Chronic diseases are the leading causes of death nationally and in Delaware, according to the Delaware Division of Public Health. Cardiovascular disease — including heart disease and stroke — is still the leading cause of death; cancer is second, followed by lung diseases and diabetes.

“We are focused on getting as many volunteers as we can to become trained educators,” Kieffer said. “We know there are many community members and personal/family Caregivers, who want to help their neighbors in need in any way that they can. This is a great opportunity to become a trained educator to help older adults live a healthier life while adapting to the new virtual environment.”

To learn more about the initiative or become a trained educator, prospective volunteers can contact Kieffer directly at lkieffer@milfordwellnessvillage.com 

To register for an upcoming virtual CDSME program, visit https://www.healthydelaware.org/Individuals/Self-Management-Programs/Chronic-Disease#program-registration 

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