Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University’s Rural Health Research Institute Awarded $450,000 Federal Grant to Promote Diabetes Education in Rural Areas

08-09 Georgia Southern University's Rural Health Research Institute Awarded $5.1 Million Federal GrantGeorgia Southern University’s Rural Health Research Institute (RHRI) has been awarded a $450,000 grant by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide diabetes education to patients in rural areas.

The grant will fund Project ADEPT (Applied Diabetes Education Program using Telehealth), which was developed by the University’s RHRI to bring information to diabetes patients on how to care for themselves and manage their condition. Project ADEPTwill target patients in Candler, Emanuel, ­­­­­­­­­­­­­Tattnall, and Toombs counties who may otherwise have a difficult time accessing important information on how to best manage the symptoms and possible complications of diabetes.

The grant was awarded to Dr. Jacob Warren and Dr. Bryant Smalley, the co-executive directors of the RHRI.  Warren is an epidemiologist in the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, and Smalley is a clinical psychologist in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

“This grant is a way for us to get information directly to patients who may not have access to regular transportation and who may go long periods in between doctor’s visits,” said Smalley. “If a patient has regular access to information about nutrition, exercise, and the warning signs of a complication caused by diabetes, we feel they have a much better chance of effectively managing their condition.”

The program, which is expected to be underway in the fall, will reach about 750 diabetes patients in a four-county area. The grant funds will be used to connect Georgia Southern’s RHRI with East Georgia Healthcare Center patients. The Southeastern Telehealth Resource Center will support the technical aspect of the program.

Project ADEPT can be used in an individual or group setting,” explained Warren. “It can be used for one session, or to give a patient the information needed over a period of time. We are making this available in English and Spanish in an effort to make sure anyone who needs the information will have access to it. Our goal is to help the patients make long-term health behavior changes that will lead to a better quality of life.”

The RHRI is an interdisciplinary hub of rural health research and outreach that spans five colleges within Georgia Southern.  For more information on the RHRI, please visit


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