Clarksdale, Mississippi is a small, rural town located in the area of the United States known as the Delta. Famous for having the distinction of being acknowledged as the birthplace of a style of music known as the blues, Clarksdale was also an economic hub of the south during a period of America’s history when the cultivation of cotton was at its peak.
With a population of just over 20,000, Clarksdale is the most populous town in Coahoma County. The population is 69% African-American, 30% Caucasian, and 65% Latino. Significant problems include extreme poverty and unemployment rates, the highest stroke death rates for both blacks and whites in the U.S., and the highest obesity rates in the U.S. (29.5%). Even with all these and other health and social issues, evidence of this community’s resiliency can be seen through the wide range of projects and multi-sectoral partnerships that developed through this initiative.
Several important partnerships have been critical to the success of theClarksdale program. DHF is currently collaborating with the Aaron E. HenryCommunity Health Services Center, Delta State University, the Delta BluesMuseum, LaBonheur Children’s Hospital, Mississippi State University,Northwest Health Foundation, Rock River Foundation, the Robert Wood JohnsonFoundation (Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future), and the WinokurFamily Foundation to improve health and increase nursing leadership in theMississippi Delta region. A number of projects are under way incollaboration with Delta State University, Coahoma Community College, andthe Mississippi Office of Nursing Workforce. To learn more about theseprojects and make a donation, please visithttp://www.deltadirections.org/programs_initiatives/index.html.