Rural hospitals and health departments in southern Illinois received five grants for programs they’re partnering to provide. The programs include services such as better communication with area food pantries, better care for diabetes patients, heart disease prevention and more.

The grants are from the Telligen Community Initiative, a nonprofit foundation created by population health management company Telligen Inc. According to news releases about the grants sent Tuesday, the programs the grants are funding in southern Illinois are all in partnership with McKendree University in St. Clair County. A student from the school’s master’s program for nursing will help with each project.

One of the grants, which is for $1,500, will be used to help diabetes patients who have chronic wounds, such as ulcers, through a collaboration among Southern Illinois Healthcare, St. Joseph Memorial Hospital in Murphysboro and the Jackson County Health Department.

Another grant for $1,500 help SIH and the Jackson County Health Department communicate more effectively with local food pantries through the newly-created Southern Illinois Food Pantry Network and the Healthy Southern Illinois Delta Network.

In Perry County, a $22,500 grant will be used to create a new health program in Tamaroa, Illinois, to help prevent heart disease in the community. According to a news release, that grant includes $2,500-worth of outdoor exercise equipment that will be available at the Tamaroa Community Center, health information on physical activity that will be created for and shared with Tamaroa Grade School students and age-appropriate information for teens on cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and other factors.  It also includes information on access to outdoor physical activities that will be shared on social media and through educational flyers to the entire community. The educational materials will be made available through the Perry County Healthy Communities Coalition, the news release says.

Through two more grants, Massac County Memorial Hospital and Hardin County General Hospital will partner with the Southern Seven Health Department to help screen for colorectal cancer. A news release says they hope to provide Massac and Hardin counties with 15 fecal immunochemical test kits each by Sept. 30. The kits will be used for patients who are unable or unwilling to have colonoscopies.

For more information on each grant, click the links below.