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USDA Grant Awarded to Beaufort Jasper Hampton Comprehensive Health Services, Inc.

BJHCHS2

posted on Monday, September 16, 2013

Beaufort Jasper Hampton Comprehensive Health Services, Inc. (BJHCHS) has been awarded a Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) from the US Department of Agriculture to develop a "Job Creation Incubator" in the Sheldon Township, which will potentially result in the creation of several new job opportunities for local residents.

 BJHCHS  realizes that personal health and well-being is directly related to a person's ability to support themselves and their family and identified partners, Pathways in STEP (Sheldon Township Empowerment Program) and the Consortium of Local Independent Businesses of Sheldon Township (CLIB), to develop and implement a program that could address the social determinants of health, namely jobs and the economy, affecting the residents of Sheldon Township. 

The concept of the "Job Creation Incubator" is to assist businesses in the Sheldon area in obtaining federal, state, and local certifications as qualified minority-owned businesses.  These credentials will help these businesses obtain government contracts for work in their areas of expertise. 

Steven Green, Executive Director of the Job Creation Incubator and President of CLIB, said "We intend that the work of the Incubator will result in contract awards to three or four local businesses who will in turn hire at least ten area residents.  Once this foothold is obtained, these businesses and others that follow their lead, will result in a material improvement in the economic well-being of our community."

The Job Creation Incubator will operate from the CLIB offices near the Lobeco Library on Trask Highway in Sheldon Township.

According to the World Health Organization, the "social determinants of health" are the circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, work, and age, as well as the systems put in place to deal with illness. These circumstances are in turn shaped by a wider set of forces: economics, social policies, and politics.

BJHCHS has been a leader leveraging the social determinants of health, even before its time.  Starting as far back as 1970, BJHCHS found themselves in a position that created the opportunity to change social circumstances. It all begin with a grant from the Office of Economic Opportunity, where the clinic began to employ and train people from the area to take part in two programs: an environmental team to assess needs such as septic tanks and deep wells, and a program where a team of family health workers would actually go into people's homes and provide services that could include identifying home repair needs. Doctors could then literally "prescribe" a septic tank to be installed, or a roof to be repaired.

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