The Center for Appalachian Philanthropy (AppaPhil), 546 Second Street, Portsmouth has received a $499,944 grant from the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help prevent diabetes in rural appalachia. Under the direction of Dr. Sharon Denham of Ohio University's School of Nursing, and a team of others hope to educate residents on the dangers of diabetes and preventive measurers. According to AppaPhil director Mandilyn Heart the grant is expected to last five years with potential to bring $2.5 million dollars into the Appalachian region. AppaPhil has divided the coverage area into three regions. Region one includes, Scioto County in Ohio along with Elliot, Morgan, and Wolfe Counties in Kentucky. Region two includes Buchanan, Russell and Wise Counties in Virginia and McDowell County in West Virginia and Region three includes Kemper, Noxubee and Winston Counties in Mississippi. "This grant will allow us (AppaPhil) to work in the Appalachian region, five states and eleven counties. To address diabetes in these vulnerable populations," Dr. Denham said. "One of the things we have learned over the last few years is how, the risk rate for those living in Appalachia are as high as it is for other minority groups." According to AppaPhil, they will be providing communities with knowledge, skills and abilities to improve healthy lifestyles as ways to combat diabetes. When talking about the complexities of diabetes Denham said "You've got to start somewhere." "I've been involved with diabetes work for the last seven or eight years. Through that work I was able to develop a tool kit that is culturally specific to the Appalachian region. Particularly trying to address type two diabetes," Denham said. Denham said there is a tremendous need in the region to do something like this. "We are hoping the work will ultimately help us find a model of care that we can use perhaps not just for diabetes, also for chronic illness as a whole, Denham said.We are just going a few places that have the potential for cenergy to move into other places over the time we work on the project." "This is one of the strongest projects we have under our umbrella. Our (AppaPhil) platforms of five program areas are all towards vulnerable populations. We focus primarily to help bring about change in the region," Mandilyn Heart, Executive Director of AppaPhil said. For more information visit www.appalachianphilanthropy.org.