Heart Healthy Communities
20Lighter Participates in a Partnership Focused on Better Health for the Arkansas Delta Region
“Recent statistics show residents of the Arkansas Delta live an average of 10-12 years less than other regions of the state.”
The Arkansas Delta Region (ADR) includes 15 counties covering over 10,000 square miles with some of the most beautiful and rural landscapes in the state. Unfortunately, economic prosperity remains largely elusive due challenges in infrastructure, skilled workforce, quality of life, and availability of good-paying jobs needed to grow the local economy and enable residents to support their families. Recent statistics show almost 25% of all ADR residents live at or below the poverty line, dramatically higher than the 12% national average.
Overshadowing these economic challenges are devastating health disparities highlighted by the majority of ADR counties falling in the lowest 25% of health factor and health outcome rankings, respectively, of all 75 counties in the state. Perhaps most concerning is the overall cardiovascular disease (CVD) -related death rate of citizens under 75 years-old twice that of the national average.
Heart Healthy Communities: Rebalancing Rural Health Equity
UAMS Heart Healthy Communities (UAMS HHC, formerly known as the Arkansas Lincoln Project) is a novel engagement & intervention program model housed within the Division of Cardiology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science. It is focused on underserved, low wealth communities of the ADR with cardiovascular health outcome disparities. By design UAMS HHC fosters relationships between community health workers (CHW) and the residents they engage in the highest risk communities. CHW are then able to deploy the most appropriate resources for each individual in a household from a portfolio of programs. This portfolio equally addresses primary disease prevention, acute medical care, and social determinants of health.
UAMS HHC is a coalition of local, county, state, and private key stakeholders working together towards a sustainable, long-term solution that reduces the development and progression of CVD by prioritizing community engagement, providing access to safe and effective CVD risk reduction, and focusing on overall well-being in underserved communities.
How 20Lighter Fits in UAMS HHC
20Lighter is UAMS HHC’s cardiometabolic interventional portfolio program. Our 2-month telehealth program impacts visceral fat and chronic inflammation across the spectrum of those both at risk of CVD and struggling with significant heart conditions. 20Lighter can be leveraged to reduce risk and delay onset of CVD, as well as assist those with complicated health issues in making progress towards better heath in a safe high-touch, and effective high-tech manner. The complementary nature of 20Lighter is an additive therapeutic option that is not disruptive to existing medical treatments. Perhaps most importantly, the ability to engage residents at home in rural communities allows the development of trusting long lasting relationships where 20Lighter can be a resource that is tapped as needed in the future to maximize the impact on the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities.