Grants, Research and Outreach of West Alabama (GROWestAL)

The mission of the Grants, Research and Outreach of WestAL Division is to identify and acquire financial and other resources which enable the Tombigbee Healthcare Authority (THA) to provide quality, accessible healthcare to all Black Belt residents. This division includes grant and outreach programs that serve the residents of the Black Belt counties served under THA.

For more information, contact Marcia A. Pugh, Division Director at 334-287-2579 or Loretta Wilson, Community Relations Outreach Manager, at 334-287-2610.

01/29/09 - WINNERS ANNOUNCED IN LIFESKILLS TRAINING CLASS CONTESTS Demopolis Middle School sixth graders recently completed the 6-week LifeSkills Training Class sponsored by the GROWestAL Division. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO.

HealthStart Maternity Care Program

The HealthStart Program at BWWMH provides a broad array of services to the residents of Marengo and surrounding counties, including the following:

Maternity Care Program

The Alabama Medicaid Agency Program for pregnant women was initiated in 1988. The program was started during a time that provision of maternity care was poor in the state and there were few organized systems of care. The Tombigbee Healthcare Authority started its HealthStart Maternity Care Program in 1992. Its goal is to ensure that every pregnant woman has access to care with the goal of lowering Alabama’s high infant mortality rate and overall improvement of maternal and infant morbidity.  It has received national recognition for its efforts.

HealthStart is a Medicaid Agency program that provides services to women residing in Marengo, Choctaw, Sumter, Greene and Hale counties. If you live in one of these counties, have a positive pregnancy test and want to apply for or are already on Medicaid, you need to enroll in the HealthStart Maternity Care Program in your county.

In order to enroll, you can call HealthStart’s toll free line at 1-888-531-6262 (MAMA) and speak with a nurse. If you live in Marengo county area, you can call 334-287-2675.

The HealthStart Maternity Care Program offers the following services to women participating in the program:

v      Prenatal Care Appointment Assistance

v      Prenatal Education

v      Care Coordinator

v      Transportation Assistance

v      Prenatal and Special Delivery Classes

v      WIC Referral

v      SOBRA Medicaid Assistance

v      Postpartum and Postnatal Education

v      Patient 1st Information

v      Home Visit by Nurse

v      Family Planning Information

v      Payment to doctor and hospital

Call the HealthStart program and we will be happy to answer any questions you have about the program.

West Alabama Safe Kids

HealthStart is a coalition member of West Alabama Safe Kids. West Alabama is a member of the national SAFE KIDS campaign intended to raise awareness and teach families about prevention of all major causes of unintentional childhood injury. The efforts to combat these risks take the form of education programs and health fairs. The web site is a key source of safety information.

Child Safety Seat Inspection

A child safety seat is one specifically designed for children and is comprised of a molded seat body having a supporting bottom and sides and provided with attachment points for the hip belt portion and the shoulder belt portion respectively of a three-points-safety belt. It has special designed belts to secure the child and some even have front supports for smaller infants.  There are many types of child and infant safety seats. After making your choice and purchasing a seat for your child, it will not properly protect him or her if it is not properly installed.

For a free installation inspection, call the HealthStart office toll free at 1-888-531-6262 or in Marengo county at 334-287-2673 and set up an appointment with one of the certified Safety Seat Technicians.

Special Delivery Prenatal Program

The birth of a baby is a very special time for a family and Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital wants to help make sure that each of our moms is well informed about what to expect.  Our Special Delivery Program will provide valuable information to assist you every step of the way.  For more information, or to sign up for the classes, please call Renee Rembert at 334-287-2673.

Special Delivery Classes are offered at a cost of $20 per series to the mother and her significant other. Unsure who to bring? Feel free to bring your labor coach as preparation for delivery. Please click here for the 2008 Special Delivery Class Schedules.


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Rural Assistance Program for Churches and Schools (RAPCS)

The Rural Assistance Program for Churches and Schools (RAPCS) assists communities in Greene, Sumter and Marengo counties in identifying, addressing and resolving their health problems. Click here for more information and a printable pdf with information on this program.

Coordinated Approach for Total Congregational Healthcare (CATCH)

For the past 20 years, the Johnson & Johnson Community Health Care Program has provided approximately $14 million in community grants to distinguished health care organizations across the country and Puerto Rico. Each year, grants are reviewed by faculty at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and rated by a separate selection panel of opinion leaders and advisors in community health care. Grants support initiatives that enable medically underserved people to access quality health care services in their community. This year’s grants focus on programs serving Hurricane Katrina affected areas.

The destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina was not just material devastation of buildings and structures. People with medical conditions are still experiencing repercussions from the natural disasters. Many of these people migrated to rural, west-central Alabama after the hurricanes. They are in need of health care treatment, education and transportation. Tombigbee Healthcare Authority will use funds from the Johnson & Johnson Community Health Care grant to implement “Coordinated Approach to Total Congregational Healthcare” (CATCH). The project will improve access to health care for hurricane victims in this region by executing three specific programs: 

  1. Churchgoers in rural areas will have the opportunity to be trained in basic first-aid, CPR, and blood pressure and blood sugar checks. Nurses will administer the training on a rotating basis.
  2. A health assessment survey will evaluate the number of people in local churches who developed diabetes, hypertension or heart disease since Hurricane Katrina, and were unable to be treated. After the results are gathered, three community-wide meetings will be held in all targeted counties; the community will have the opportunity to express its needs and the outcomes expected after the project is implemented. Nurses will provide assessments, referrals, health education and counseling following each meeting.
  3. Transportation will be available for those needing or wanting to attend doctor appointments, pharmacy visits, meetings, or community events that promote healthy living.

To learn more about this program, contact Christina Carr, Program Coordinator, at 334-287-2675.

You can also get information on THA and other Johnson & Johnson 2007 Community Health Care Program Awardees at

Teens Empowering and Motivating their Peers to Opt-out (TEMPO)

The principle objective of “TEMPO” is to assist the Alabama Department of Public Health, Tobacco Prevention and Control Division in the implementation of a statewide comprehensive tobacco policy enhancement initiative by focusing on how Second-Hand-Smoke (SHS) affects the people, particularly the youth, of Marengo County. This objective will be accomplished through the provision of: Educational activities, i.e. strengthening public knowledge of SHS and tobacco use through presentations, speaking engagements, special tobacco day participation, distribution of flyers, fact sheets and information packets on the dangers of SHS, the implementation of the Youth Empowerment Program (YEP), Lifestyles curriculum, Operation Storefront, media exposure, and local and state partnerships. 

The program will be done in partnership with the Theo Ratliff Activity Center in Demopolis, Alabama.

For more information on this program, contact Loretta Smith, Program Manager, at 334-287-2610.

Delta Rural Assistance Program (DRAP)

The Delta Rural Access Program (DRAP) is a new initiative that began on September 1, 2007 and will address eighteen of Alabama’s rural Delta counties’ unmet local health care needs and prevalent health disparities through the development of innovative projects. 

The primary focuses of DRAP is to: 1) provide a delivery of preventative services for individuals who are at-risk of developing chronic health diseases (i.e. – diabetes, heart disease, obesity, chronic disease health promotion and education); and 2) increase access to prescription drugs for the medically indigent, which include Medicare and Medicaid populations.

For more information on this program, contact Loretta Smith, Program Manager, at 334-287-2610.



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105 Highway 80 East | Demopolis, Alabama 36732 | telephone 334-289-4000