15 Things You Need to Know About the Gulf Region Health Outreach Program (GRHOP)

In light of the new JPHMP supplement on GHROP, we’ve put together a list of 15 important facts you need to know about the program.

A newly released supplement in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice highlights the Gulf Region Health Outreach Program (GRHOP), a series of integrated, five-year projects created as part of the Deepwater Horizon Medical Benefits Class Action Settlement and designed to strengthen healthcare in Gulf Coast communities in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle. In light of the supplement, we’ve put together a list of 15 important facts you need to know about the GRHOP.

  1. The GRHOP addresses the problem of health resilience through a multi-disciplinary public health systems approach using community-based assets. Its component projects are designed interdependently to sustainably strengthen local capacity to advance the knowledge, programs, and infrastructure that will lessen the impact of future natural or technological environmental disasters, thereby promoting long-term community health resilience.
  2. The GRHOP models the use of settlement agreements in litigation as a potential source of visionary impact on broader community health issues not readily addressed via the usual mechanisms aimed at compensating individuals following a disaster.
  3. The GRHOP is designed to bolster the public health infrastructure of vulnerable populations that live in the targeted communities along the US Gulf Coast.
  4. Through its Mental and Behavioral Health Capacity Project, the GRHOP features four multidisciplinary projects across four states with a shared mission to address mental health – one of the pressing public health issues in the region.
  5. Health centers and their community partners used the Community-Centered Health Home model to pursue a range of data collection, analysis, and community prevention activities.
  6. Pediatric mental and behavioral health disorders are an important public health issue because of their prevalence, early onset, and impact on the child, family, and community throughout the lifespan. The Pediatric Symptom Checklist and Parenting Stress Index were used to explore the integration of mental and behavioral health in pediatric clinics supported by the GRHOP’s Mental and Behavioral Health Capacity Project.
  7. Brief trauma treatments were effectively integrated into primary care clinics to reduce trauma and physical health systems in postdisaster environments.
  8. A study supported by the GRHOP illustrates the association between trauma symptoms and poorer mental health and physical health, highlighting health policy implications and the integration of behavioral health services in federally qualified health centers (FQHCs).
  9. A case study from the Mental and Behavioral Health Capacity Project’s work in coastal Mississippi demonstrates the experience of a social work-led behavioral health program in meeting a patient populations’ specific and varied needs while concurrently establishing an integrated service delivery culture.
  10. Through its Primary Care Capacity Project, the GRHOP supported a quality improvement initiative aimed at improving the efficiency of patient navigators for patients in underserved communities who have had avoidable emergency department encounters or inpatient readmissions.
  11. The GRHOP’s Community Health Worker Training Program developed and delivered basic training modules and specialty training modules to prepare community health workers to enhance community disaster resilience among target populations along the Gulf Coast.
  12. The GRHOP’s Community Health Worker Placement Program provides important insights about how to successfully integrate community health workers into the public health workforce.
  13. The Primary Care Capacity Project utilized rigorous qualitative methodologies to develop the project’s areas of focus, evaluate clinical transformation interventions in selected Gulf Coast health centers, and provide data and support to foster ongoing quality improvement approaches.
  14. The Primary Care Capacity Project utilized community prioritization convenings, peer-to-peer learning, and dyadic interviews to link stakeholders and maximize capacity-building efforts.
  15. The GRHOP’s Environmental and Occupational Health Education and Referral program worked with FQHCs to address community members’ environmental and occupational health concerns and assist primary care providers in better understanding the impact of environmental and occupational health factors on their patients’ health.

Read related articles in a special supplement issue of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice focused on the Gulf Region Health Outreach Program (GRHOP).

Author Profile

Ayanna V. Buckner
Ayanna V. Buckner, MD, MPH, FACPM is the chairperson of the Gulf Region Health Outreach Program Coordinating Committee, which was established by the Settlement Agreement to ensure that the respective GRHOP projects function in a cooperative and integrated manner and have reasonable flexibility to adjust their respective implementations to respond to changed needs and circumstances. Dr. Buckner is also the principal of Community Health Cooperative, a health consulting firm that assists nonprofit and corporate organizations, academic institutions, and other groups with the design, implementation, and evaluation of community-based health programming.