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K-State Today

February 1, 2018

USDA awards funding to implement Master Health Volunteer initiative in Kansas

Submitted by College of Human Ecology

Yelland and Johannes

Erin Yelland, extension specialist and assistant professor, and Elaine Johannes, extension specialist and associate professor, both in the School of Family Studies and Human Services, were recently awarded more than $300,000 from the United States Department of Agriculture to implement a Master Health Volunteer program in Ottawa, Saline, Dickinson, Marion, McPherson, Cherokee and Cowley counties.

The USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture recently announced support for health education projects for individuals and families living in rural areas.

The Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grant Program seeks to address the needs of rural Americans through individual and family health education programs delivered via cooperative extension. The program supports effective, evidence-based, nonformal education programs and services informed by the human, social and behavioral sciences to promote and enhance rural health, strengthen economic vitality and in the long run, mitigate the effects of rural poverty.

Volunteers for the Master Health Program will be recruited in the summer of 2018 and training will begin in the fall.

"Addressing the declining health of the American population is a pressing issue that will require innovative initiatives to produce significant impacts," Yelland said. "USDA NIFA has provided support for us to recruit volunteers with diverse backgrounds and equip them with the skills necessary to create positive health-related changes through grassroots efforts in their local communities. This model has proven to be effective in other states, and now we are excited to provide Kansas the opportunity to make drastic strides towards improved individual, family and community health."

NIFA's mission is to invest in and advance agricultural research, education and extension to solve societal challenges. NIFA's investments in transformative science directly support the long-term prosperity and global preeminence of U.S. agriculture.

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