Pickens County Project – Status Report 2017

The University of Alabama/Pickens County Partnership
 A Health Care Teaching County

Overall Status: On Track

Project Abstract

The UA-Pickens County Partnership is in year one of the development of a “Health Care Teaching County” (HCTC) aimed at creating an innovation partnership for sustaining a struggling healthcare system through strong ties for innovation between UA and Pickens County, Alabama. Modeled after the idea of a “teaching hospital” based in a community, the HCTC is a collaborative approach intended to be a sustained and long term effort in which the county’s citizens and health professionals, in partnership with UA faculty and students, collaborate to build an enhanced and sustainable model of health care delivery for the county. The partnership was recognized at the 10th Annual Excellence in Community Engagement Awards ceremony held by The University of Alabama Center of Community Based Partnerships for Outstanding Community Partner-Initiated Engagement Effort.

There are three components of the HCTC. First, a project coordinator was hired and an office established to facilitate overall daily program development and oversight for the partnership activities. Next, eight pilot projects between UA Faculty and community organizations were funded to begin to address high priority health-related issues identified in Pickens County. Many of the projects are addressing issues that are considered underling “social determinants” of health. The Pilot Projects began implementing their interventions in June 2016. Thirdly, four recent UA graduates, the partnership “Fellows,” were hired to provide resources to Pickens County and assist with the pilot projects while also obtaining personal professional development during this “gap year” experience and before continuing their education and careers.


A Rural Health Care Management Pilot Program has been implemented involving the Pickens County community with faculty and students from The University of Alabama to develop the UA/ Pickens County Partnership – A Health Care Teaching County.


Milestones Accomplished

Planned Milestones

Short Term

Next Year

Areas for improvement

Contact Information

Dean Richard Streiffer, MD


$190,000 Pilot Grant Projects conducted by UA Faculty and Pickens Partners
$200,000 Fellows and their projects
$150,000 Infrastructure, Project Office, Coordinator
$60,000 Other Community Projects
$600,000 Total

Funded Projects

Title and Purpose University Partners Pickens County Partners Project Location Activity Synopsis
Improving Pickens County Residents’ Knowledge of Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease and Type 2 Diabetes Create an infrastructure through which healthcare providers and community partners work together to increase Pickens Co. residents” knowledge of their cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
  • M. Montgomery, PhD
  • P. Johnson, PhD
  • Capstone College of Nursing (CCN) & 115 CCN students
Pickens County Board of Education Pickens County Head Start Pickens County Community Action Early Learning Center-Carrollton Completed 4 screenings with 90 preschool children. Parent surveys have been distributed to assess their knowledge of risk factors for Cardiovascular disease and diabetes. A community-wide health screenings will be held April 6th at the Healthplex in Carrollton.
Alabama Literacy Project Provide resources and professional development for Pickens Co. school teachers and administrators.
  • C. Donovan, PhD
  • College of Education
Jamie Chapman, Superintendent, Pickens County Schools Carrollton Fall Festival Pickens County Head Start Participated in the Carrollton Fall Festival. Met with community members and gave away over 150 books. Provided professional development for 32 teachers and administrators on three occasions. 11 hours of professional development and 192 books have been distributed. More than 30 hours of professional development have been completed or scheduled.
Improving Access to Cardiac Rehabilitation Services in Pickens County Establish a partnership between UA and the Cardiopulmonary Dept. at PCMC to aid in the development of a sustainable evidence based cardiac rehab program to address the needs of cardiac patients at PCMC.
  • J. Wingo, PhD College of Education
  • A. Shah, PhD School of Social Work
  • 3 Undergraduate Interns from the Department of Kinesiology
Pickens County Medical Center- Sharon Crawford Wester Pickens County Medical Center Cardio-Pulmonary Services Collaborated on developing a cardiac rehabilitation program in Fall 2016. Currently, there are 15 patients in the program.
Disseminating the Power PATH Mental Health Preventive Intervention to the Pickens County Head Start Program Provide the curriculum and training needed for Pickens Co. Head Start teachers and family service workers to implement a mental health program.
  • C. Boxmeyer, PhD – College of Community Health Sciences
  • A. Gilpin, PhD
  • J. DeCaro, PhD
  • J. Lochman, PhD
  • Q. Mitchell, PhD
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • 3 undergraduate students
Pickens County Community Action Committee and Community Development Corporation, Inc.: Cynthia Simpson Vanessa Hopkins Frank Woods Demeka Edwards Joanna Williams 12 Head Start preschool teachers Pickens County Community Action Committee and Community Development Corporation, Inc. Head Start Program (located in Carrollton, Alabama, in the Pickens County Early Childhood Learning Center) The Preschool PATHS® Social Emotional Program curriculum was instituted in all 6 Head Start programs with 120 students. Community partners have been trained to implement parent program.
Bringing Healthy Food Options and Ease of Preparation Home to our Senior Adults Increasing knowledge of basic cooking and self efficacy to prepare meals and select healthy food options – focusing on nutrient-dense, cost effective food choices.
  • J. Anderson – College of Continuing Studies
  • C. Suzanne Henson, MS, RD, LD – College of Community Health Sciences
Anne Jones-Pickens County Family Resources Pickens County Senior Centers Sharon Crawford-Pickens County Medical Center Jacki Lee-Pickens County Medical Center Kevin Jones-Jones Media Production Piggly Wiggly-Gordo Ashmore’s Fine Foods-Reform Federal Correctional Institution- Aliceville Piggly Wiggly-Gordo Ashmore’s Fine Foods-Reform Federal Correctional Institution- Aliceville Reform Senior Center Gordo Senior Center Healthy cooking sessions have been conducted at the Gordo and Reform Senior Centers with approximately 30 individuals. A healthy food sampling occurred at 2 grocery stores in the county, and a similar program took place at the Federal Correctional Institution.
Teleplay: Connecting Physicians, Families, and Autism Professionals to Increase Early Autism Identification in Pickens County Teleplay can provide the access by creating a sustainable mechanism for supporting physicians through the early identification and referral process.
  • L. G. Yerby, PhD – College of Community Health Sciences
  • A. Barber, PhD – College of Arts & Sciences
  • C. Childers, MSIII/IV
Julia Booth, MD, MPH Pickens County Primary Care Clinic-Reform TelePlay system has been implemented on the appropriate computer server. A Computer Based Honors Student has been identified to work on the project starting Spring 2017. Due to collaborative efforts children are already being identified and one is receiving treatment and services.
Pickens County Medical-Legal Partnership for the Elderly Establishing a partnership through the UA Elder Law Clinic providing legal care to PCMC patients over age 60, addressing common health- harming legal issues.
  • G. Brake – School of Law
  • Student Legal Interns in the Elder Law Clinic
  • Elder Law Clinic Interim Director
  • Staff Attorney & Paralegal
Jim Marshall, CEO, Pickens County Medical Center Pickens County Medical Center Aliceville Manor Nursing Home Individual clients’ homes Approximately 23 clients have been served and the project director has meet with numerous groups in the county including health care providers to promote to educate and train healthcare providers in the identification and referral of elderly patients with potentially health-harming legal issues.
Development of Family Medicine Residency in Pickens County Establishing a rural residency program based at PCMC for hospital related training.
  • R. Friend, MD – College of Community Health Sciences
Jim Marshall, CEO, Pickens County Medical Center Deborah Tucker, CEO Whatley Health Services Pickens County Medical Center Leaders from the Pickens County Hospital and UA traveled to a model residency program in Louisiana to research needs for program implementation at Pickens County Medical Center.
Exploring Professional Opportunities in Health Care A leadership program to encourage Pickens Co. students to enter into a health care related field following high school graduation.
  • R. Friend, MD, College of Community Health Sciences
Patti Fuller – Extension Office; Shawn McDaniel – Pickens County School Board Various locations: UA, Mississippi State, Samford Pharmacy & Mississippi University for Women 25 high school students from Pickens County were selected to participate in a leadership program to enhance their college readiness and expose them to career opportunities in the healthcare field.

Fellow Activities

Title University Partners Pickens County Partners Project Location Activity Synopsis
Health Screenings
  • J. Russell; C. Rentas
  • A. Anderson
  • L. Brown
  • 25 student volunteers from the CCN
Pickens County Board of Education & Pickens Academy All Pickens County Elementary Schools Health screenings were offered to all students K – 6 in Pickens County Schools. Information from screenings is being sent to parents or guardians. Screenings for middle and high school students are scheduled.
Gardening Projects
  • J. Russell
  • C. Rentas
  • A. Anderson
  • L. Brown
Pickens County 4H Cooperative Extension Service Dr. Valerie Jackson, Principal-Reform Elementary Alabama State Cooperative Extension Service Alabama Outdoor Classroom Program Aliceville Senior Center Aliceville Garden Club City of Aliceville Aliceville First United Methodist Church food pantry Gordo Reform Elementary Aliceville Gardening club is being taught to students aged 7-14. Currently working on curriculum and offering resources to Reform Elementary School to build an outdoor classroom. Currently pursuing grant funding and certification by the Alabama Outdoor Classroom program. Working with community groups to distribute food from gardens help in maintaining the gardens.
Nutritional Cooking Class
  • C. Rentas
Pickens County Board of Education 4H (after-school program) Aliceville High School Career Center (Carrollton) 4H House (Gordo) Nutritional cooking courses have been taught to nearly 100 student from around the county. Curriculum focuses on making nutrition understandable and relevant, as well as instruction on healthy cooking techniques using food that is available locally and affordable.
Health Education in Rural Elementary Schools
  • A. Anderson
  • J. Russell
Pickens County School District   Health education lessons taught 3rd and 4th classes reaching approximately 140 students. At each session, a topic within the CDC’s comprehensive health education curriculum is addressed. Lesson topics have included: dental hygiene, nutrition, exercise, tobacco/smoking, safety.
  • L. Brown
  • J. Russell
Pickens County Family Resource Center Reform Senior Activity Center Aliceville Senior Activity Center Gordo Senior Activity Center Carrollton Senior Activity Center Weekly activity and educational sessions held at each of the 4 activity centers. Gardening clubs forming at 2 of the centers. Blood pressure checks and education are provided on the third Friday of every month.
Community Resource Guide
  • L. Brown
    Comprehensive guide detailing health-related resources across Pickens County was developed and distributed. 500 guides were distributed county- wide after the first printing.