Rural Hospitals Selected to Participate in the Delta Community Health Systems Development Program

October 24, 2019

CLARKSDALE, MS - The Delta Regional Authority is pleased to announce that six additional rural hospitals will participate in the Delta Region Community Health Systems Development – Technical Assistance Program (DRCHSD) which helps improve healthcare services in the Delta Region through intensive technical assistance to providers in select rural communities, including critical access hospitals, small rural hospitals, rural health clinics and other healthcare organizations. 

“Healthcare is a top concern for so many folks across the Delta Region. Through this important program, specifically with the partnership for these new hospitals, we’ll be able to improve access and overall healthcare services in our rural communities,” said DRA Chairman Chris Caldwell.

In 2017, DRA partnered with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish the program. The technical assistance, provided by subject matter experts at the National Rural Health Resource Center, focuses on improving financial operations, enhancing coordination of care, implementing innovate service delivery techniques such as telehealth, identifying workforce recruitment and retention resources, and more.  

Six new additions:

South Mississippi County Medical Center: Osceola, AR         
South Mississippi County Medical Center is a 25 bed, critical access hospital located in Osceola, Arkansas.

Marshall Browning Hospital: Du Quoin, IL
Marshall Browning Hospital is a 25 bed, critical access hospital located in Du Quoin, Illinois.

Sparta Community Hospital: Sparta, IL 
Sparta Community Hospital is a 25 bed, critical access hospital located in Sparta, Illinois.

Livingston Hospital and Healthcare Services, Inc.: Salem, KY          
Livingston Hospital and Healthcare Services, Inc. is a 25 bed, critical access hospital located in Salem, Kentucky.

Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital: Ste. Genevieve, MO       
Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital is a 25 bed, critical access hospital located in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri

Henry County Medical Center: Paris, TN           
Henry County Medical Center is 114 bed, government hospital located in Paris, Tennessee.

Congressional delegations issued the following statements:


“This partnership will expand critical health resources and provide South Mississippi County Medical Center with additional assistance to meet the needs of patients. Breaking the barriers that impede health care delivery in rural areas will lead to long-term improvements to the health and wellbeing of the region’s citizens,” said U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR).

“Rural hospitals in Arkansas face many challenges, but all Arkansans need accessible healthcare, no matter where they live,” said U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR). “I’m grateful to the Delta Regional Authority for addressing those challenges by investing in the South Mississippi County Medical Center, which provides vital healthcare services to the surrounding communities.”

“For rural Americans, access to quality, affordable healthcare is the most critical component to overall wellness. The expansion of the Delta Region Community Health Systems Development program is a step in the right direction towards improving wellness across the Delta,” said Congressman Rick Crawford (R – 1st District, Arkansas).


“Local hospitals are the backbone of rural America. They provide quality care without forcing patients to drive miles away, and are an economic boost to the community,” U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said. “I’m proud to see Southern Illinois hospitals selected to participate in this important program and will continue to fight to bring federal resources to Illinois’ downstate communities.”

“Access to quality health care services shouldn’t be dependent on where you live,” said Congressman Mike Bost (R – 12th District, Illinois).“Participating in this program will allow the Marshall Browning Hospital and Sparta Community Hospital to continue to provide Randolph and Perry counties with critical, quality care. I look forward to working more with the Delta Regional Authority to build public-private partnerships and improve the lives of Southern Illinoisans.”


“About one in five rural hospitals are at risk of closing, which can have potentially life-threatening consequences for people in rural areas. We started the DRCHSD in the appropriations subcommittee I chair to give rural hospitals in Southeast Missouri and throughout the DRA region the support they need to remain open and able to serve smaller communities. I appreciate the work DRA and HHS have done, and continue to do, to help rural hospitals strengthen their footing. This program will continue to be a priority for our subcommittee,” U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO).

“Thanks to this federal grant program, Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital will be able to provide improved care for years to come,” U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) said. “Rural hospital closures are a real threat to our communities, so this is a positive step in the right direction.”

“It is always great to work with the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) to identify important investments needed in our area, and the Ste. Genevieve Memorial Hospital is a perfect example,” said Congressman Jason Smith (R – 8th District, Missouri). “As they celebrate 50 years of providing excellent healthcare, this new partnership and a new medical office building near completion, the hospital can build upon its commitment to provide great care to the people of Ste. Genevieve for decades more to come."


“I’m glad the Henry County Medical Center in Paris is participating in this important program because it will help rural West Tennesseans access more affordable and better health care,” said U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN).

“As Tennesseans in rural areas face challenges posed by hospital closures, we are exploring new methods for delivering healthcare services with our local and state partners. I am so pleased that the DRA has chosen the Henry County Medical Center as a site for their Health Systems Development Program,” said U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)


About Delta Regional Authority

Established in 2000 by Congress, the Delta Regional Authority makes strategic investments of federal appropriations into the physical and human infrastructure of Delta communities. Led by the Delta Regional Authority Board-comprised of the Federal Co-Chairman, appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and the governors of the eight states-the Delta Regional Authority fosters local and regional partnerships that address economic and social challenges to ultimately strengthen the Delta economy and the quality of life for Delta residents. The Delta Regional Authority works to improve regional economic opportunity by helping to create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of the 10 million people who reside in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state Delta region.

DRA Media Contact:
Susan Edwards         

DRA Program Contact:
Christina Wade