October 22, 2017  

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MHAC Helps USM Receive White House Healthy Campus Distinction

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The University of Southern Mississippi has been deemed a White House Healthy Campus due to the work of the Mississippi Health Access Collaborative (MHAC), an effort of the School of Social Work’s Center for Discovery, Integration, and Transformation.

The White House Healthy Campus Challenge was established to engage university and community college campuses across the country in a variety of activities that encourage enrollment in Marketplace coverage, a provision of the Affordable Care Act. 

Based on MHAC’s outreach actions this fall, Southern Miss was awarded the distinction and Project Director Kathryn Rehner and School of Social Work Director Dr. Tim Rehner were invited to participate in Healthy Campus Challenge Day at the White House Jan. 13, 2017, and First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the participants.

“Even with only eight days left in the White House, the First Lady gave us a message of hope and courage to fight every day for what is right,” said Kathryn Rehner.

The MHAC provides free Navigator services to build sustainable access to health coverage for vulnerable and hard-to-reach citizens across the 24 southernmost counties of Mississippi. It is one of two Navigator programs in Mississippi and is funded through a grant received from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The School of Social Work, housed in the College of Health at Southern Miss, received the grant in 2015. CMS releases funding in 12-month increments, while continually assessing Navigator grantees’ performance for ongoing support.

For more information about the School of Social Work in Southern Miss College of Health, visit www.usm.edu/socialwork. For more information about Navigators and other Marketplace resources, visit: https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Programs-and-Initiatives/Health-Insurance-Marketplaces/Downloads/Navigator-Grantee-Summaries-2016.pdf.