NEWS RELEASE NEWS RELEASE NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release May 18, 2016
For more information, call Eileen Kerr
Rocky Mount, NC - Opportunities Industrialization Center’s Family Medical Centers (OIC) have received a national grant from the Office of Minority Health Resource Center, said OIC’s President and CEO Reuben Blackwell, “This one-year, $35,000 grant is one of only 12 awarded nationally and focuses on conducting a social marketing campaign in Nash and Edgecombe Counties dealing with the importance of getting screened for HIV and Hepatitis B and C.” Blackwell added that “there is additional funding from this grant to increase the number of screening tests available for those in the Twin Counties.”
“This campaign,” explained Brian Ellerby, OIC’s Director for Integrated Health Services, “will be designed to reach the greatest number of individuals through multiple media channels: television news segments and programs; radio and print advertisements; billboards, website and facebook materials; distribution of fliers, posters and postcards, and through social media such as twitter, online newsletters, recorded phone messages and text messages.”
Ellerby said that “the key message is that it is important for individuals to get screened for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. If individuals test positive for one of these diseases, there are treatments available. Currently, OIC Family Medical Centers have brought together representatives of key agencies that either test for or treat these diseases in the two counties. These partners are providing us with invaluable information regarding the messages of the campaign as well as collaborating with us to distribute the campaign materials. All materials will be tested with separate focus groups comprised of the target audiences we want to reach,” Ellerby said. It is anticipated that the campaign will begin in July 2016.
“This grant augments OIC’s aggressive screening effort conducted at our two medical practice sites and by OIC’s Mobile Area Health Clinic and our Community Prevention Services team,” said Blackwell. In addition to providing mobile primary care services in neighborhoods and communities, the Mobile Area Health Clinic team also screens for sexually transmitted diseases. From June 2014 to June 2015, those screened out in the community through OIC’s Mobile Area Health Clinic include 2,443 individuals for HIV; 2,091 for Syphilis; 2,145 individuals for Hep C; and 1,941 individuals for other STD tests.
OIC Family Medical Centers’ mission is "Helping People Help Themselves." As a Federally Qualified Community Health Center, OIC’s two medical practice sites provide comprehensive services to those with private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, the uninsured, veterans and the homeless. For more information on accessing patient services or free screenings go to http://www.oicone.org or call (252) 446-3333.