Delta ACCESS Inc., located in McGehee, Arkansas, became a 501(c) 3 organization in 2008, growing out of an earlier community-based organization, the Delta Health Care Consortium. The organization from its outset in 2001 has provided referral services for medical care, pharmacy assistance, and social services assistance. A local board of directors has played a leadership role in building a stronger organization and sharpening its mission. Since 2009 the organization has been a major participant in planning and forming the STAR.Health initiative.
The mission of Delta ACCESS, Inc. is to improve access to health and health care services for the residents of Lincoln, Desha, and Chicot counties in the Arkansas Delta by providing information, resources, and services in order to educate, empower, and involve them in the management of their health. In doing so, the organization works to reduce the risk of chronic disease in the targeted communities by working in partnership to raise awareness, provide skill-building opportunities, foster supportive environments, and advocate for healthy public policies.
The initial geographic region for Delta ACCESS Inc. was in Desha and Lincoln counties, Arkansas, in partnership with the Daughters of Charity Clinics, an affiliate of the Ascension Health Services, St. Louis, MO. When Delta ACCESS’s initial grant support from Ascension Health Services ended, and no further income was in sight, the Board of Directors was prepared to close the organization at the end of 2009. With the development of the STAR.Health project, however, and with fresh opportunity to participate in an expanded set of health improvement initiatives in Southeast Arkansas, the organization has refreshed its mission and amended its bylaws to add Chicot County to the catchment area. New board members also are being added to represent Chicot County in the organizational programs and policies, and the organizational office has been moved to a central location in McGehee, Arkansas.
The chief executive officer for Delta ACCESS, Inc. is Nancy Thompson. There are no other employees within the organization. The Coordinator for the companion STAR.Health project is Dr. Thomas A. Bruce, Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, who also serves as Senior Advisor to the Director, Arkansas Department of Health.