The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Michele Smith
The Times 

County to Benefit from Medicaid Transformation Project

Student-focused healthy eating, active living program will begin in 2018


September 7, 2017

DAYTON – The federal Health Care Authority has made 1.2 billion dollars available to promote Medicaid transformation projects over the next five years. Nine counties in the HCA’s Greater Columbia Region, including Columbia County, stand to benefit, according to Martha Lanman, the County Public Health Administrator who serves on the leadership committee.

The Greater Columbia Region was originally sponsoring eight projects and Lanman picked “5,2,1,0,” which is a Chronic Disease/Wellness project that targets diabetes prevention in children.

“5,2,1,0 stands for five fruits and vegetables, daily, two or fewer hours of screen time, one hour of exercise, and 0 sugary drinks,” Lanman said.

The program targets school-age children and provides a local prevention program with screening for pre-diabetes as well as providing a chronic disease management program, she said.

The Benton-Franklin Health Department, in the Tri-Cities, and Virginia-Mason Hospital, in Yakima, are using some of the ideas from the “5,2,1,0” project, which is evidence-based, and has a history of success, she said.

The projects fall under the umbrella of the Accountable Communities of Health organization.

“The overarching goal of the Accountable Communities of Health is to integrate physical, mental, and behavioral health, and that means that Columbia County Health System, Columbia County Public Health Department and the Blue Mountain Counseling Center are delivering integrated health care in Columbia County,” Lanman explained.

“So when you go to the doctor, you will be seen for everything,” she said.

Lanman presented her project proposal, on June 22, and again to the entire leadership council and governing board, on July 20, in the Tri-Cities.

“Last month they narrowed down the projects from eight to six, and the “5,2,1,0” project made the final list. Now they are budgeting the projects and asking for letters of interest and requests for proposals to be completed in October,” Lanman said.

Lanman said she will have more details about what will be expected of each project and how many will be implemented in Columbia County after that. Implementation will begin in January, 2018.


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