Fund Helps Improve Health in Rural Communities

The San Luis Valley in south-central Colorado is like many rural communities throughout the nation. Fewer than 30 percent of children ages 7 and older have received preventive health visits in the past two years, and many residents turn to urgent care and emergency rooms for care.

A unique collaboration is working to change that. Working with the Valley’s major health and educational organizations, National Jewish Health, led by Lisa Cicutto, PhD, RN, offers child health events that include everything from lung health assessments and vaccinations to information on primary care providers and applying for health insurance.

The program is funded in part by a $131,000 grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, a long-time supporter of National Jewish Health. The fund, based in Jacksonville, Florida, was established in 1970 with the estate of Jessie Ball duPont.

Fund President Sherry Magill, PhD, said the fund is committed to recognizing and supporting “smart people doing great work to benefit their communities,” a great fit for the children’s health project in the San Luis Valley.