RD489 - Appalachian Prosperity Project: A Collaborative Model for Advancing Education, Health, & Economic Prosperity in Southwest Virginia - Annual Report FY2018

Executive Summary:

The Appalachian Prosperity Project (APP) is a collaborative partnership among the University of Virginia (UVA), UVA’s College at Wise (UVA-Wise), Planning Districts 1 and 2, the private sector, and the Commonwealth of Virginia ( http://APProject.org/). The project is designed to advance education, health, and economic prosperity in Southwest Virginia. Progress in FY2018 includes:

• UVA helped secure $2.3 million in new funding to bring programs and services to the residents of Planning Districts 1 and 2. The total funding secured over the past eleven years is almost $23 million.

UVA provided $3.5 million from the Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) to UVA-Wise to increase enrollment in targeted technology programs and create a more robust culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in the region.

• UVA partnered with UVA-Wise, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, and the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission to help recruit a 500-person technology company to Southwest Virginia. The company ultimately did not choose the site but the process laid the groundwork for future collaborative economic development opportunities.

• The UVA Medical Center approved and funded a primary health care clinic to open at UVAWise. The clinic will offer UVA-Wise employees and students access to onsite UVA health care providers. It will also provide learning opportunities for UVA-Wise nursing students. This important asset will promote prevention and healthy lifestyles, improve health outcomes, and reduce sick days and costly complications.

• The UVA Center for Telehealth continues to add new sites to the region, with a total of 26 sites online and ready to deliver specialty clinical services within Planning Districts 1 and 2. UVA provided more than 741 patient interactions in the region, saving patients the travel time and expense involved in a 500 mile round-trip to the UVA Medical Center in Charlottesville. Specialty care services were provided in oncology, diabetes, infectious disease, psychiatry, endocrinology, neurology, orthopedics, pain management, pediatric cardiology, surgery, rheumatology, wound care, hepatology, and dermatology.

• UVA Telehealth continues to address the opioid crisis in Southwest Virginia, facilitating opiate treatment training for primary care providers and establishing a partnership with The Health Wagon to pilot an addiction management program in the region.

UVA’s Virginia College Advising Corps (VCAC) helped first-generation college students matriculate to postsecondary education institutions, holding more than 1,000 one-on-one meetings with high school seniors and assisting 350 students with college applications. Students in the program received more than $2.5 million in scholarships.

• UVA biology Professor Michael Timko partnered with UVA-Wise faculty member Ryan Huish on a project aimed at creating industrial hemp and medicinal marijuana varieties suited for traditional tobacco-growing regions. The biologists are growing industrial hemp on 10 acres of reclaimed strip-mined land owned by the College. They are analyzing the impact of changing state regulations on the rapidly evolving industrial hemp industry.