TDMHSAS Expands Project Rural Recovery to Ten New CountiesMobile clinics work to meet needs in rural and underserved communities
NASHVILLE, Tenn.— Tennessee’s Project Rural Recovery is growing. Thanks to $6.3 million budgeted in the current fiscal year by Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee General Assembly, Project Rural Recovery is expanding to ten new counties.
After a competitive grant award process, the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) selected Ridgeview Behavioral Health Services and Pathways as the community-based providers for the new service area.
Pathways Behavioral Health Services will serve Crockett, Fayette, Hardeman, Haywood, and Lauderdale Counties in west Tennessee and Ridgeview will serve Campbell, Fentress, Morgan, Scott, and Union Counties in east Tennessee. As with the current counties served by Project Rural Recovery, department leaders selected the expansion areas with an emphasis on rural, underserved, and distressed counties.
“Project Rural Recovery is changing lives and increasing resiliency in Tennessee’s rural communities. We’re so proud of this program and the impact that it’s having for Tennesseans who otherwise would have to travel long distances or forego the care they need,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner Marie Williams. “We’re so grateful to Governor Lee and the Tennessee General Assembly for seeing the value in this program and deciding to double its reach with ten new counties.”
Project Rural Recovery seeks to address infrastructure barriers to access in rural communities with mobile clinics. The units offer two exam spaces, a restroom, a small waiting area, and a lift for accessibility. Providers offer integrated behavioral and physical healthcare for free or no cost to the patient. Through its first two years, Project Rural Recovery has served more than 1,600 Tennesseans.
“Rural counties in our state face so many unique healthcare challenges. Just by parking in a community and holding clinic hours one day a week on a regular basis, our mobile units can have an outsized impact on access to care and truly change the lives of the people they serve,” said Jessica Youngblom, LMSW, TDMHSAS Director of Strategic Initiatives.
Project Rural Recovery started in March 2020 with the award of a 5-year $10 million federal grant. The new funding in the TDMHSAS budget is from the American Rescue Plan Act. Initial community-based providers included Buffalo Valley, Inc. serving Lawrence, Lewis, Marshall, Perry, and Wayne Counties in middle Tennessee and the McNabb Center serving Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hancock, and Jefferson Counties in east Tennessee.
Learn more about Project Rural Recovery on our website at : TN.gov/behavioral-health/ruralrecovery