The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Cherokee Health Systems will be hosting an informational session to celebrate their growing partnership through REACCH — Research and Education Aligned for Clinical and Community Health — from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9, at the Relix, 1208 N. Central Street, Knoxville.
Attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about REACCH and how this collaboration between UT and CHS advances health-related workforce development, equity in clinical practice, and community well-being in Tennessee through innovation and discovery.
Launched in 2022, REACCH focuses to leverage the energies and resources of UT and CHS to better meet the health needs of Tennesseans through three foundational characteristics:
- Mutually beneficial and reciprocal collaborations with shared leadership
- Interdisciplinary endeavors that leverage the expertise of teams from multiple disciplines
- A consistent commitment to equitable access and opportunity in pursuit of health equity
“We’re excited to take the next step in our relationship with Cherokee Health Systems,” said Hollie Raynor, executive associate dean of research and operations in UT’s College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences. “REACCH is an academic-community health practice collaboration that has a mission to advance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities across Tennessee through teaching, research and clinical practice. At our event we will describe partnership activities that are occurring and describe how we plan to collaborate in the future. We believe this plan will allow greater participation from faculty and students at UT, as well as staff at Cherokee Health Systems, and thus have greater impact on our community.”
Cherokee Health Systems provides a vast array of services to 12 counties in East Tennessee. According to CHS data, nearly 70 percent of clientele are either uninsured or are TennCare recipients, while 14% are Medicare beneficiaries. Between 2018 and 2021 CHS has served nearly 110,000 patients from underserved communities in the area.
The REACCH partnership provides numerous growth opportunities through engaged teaching, research and service. For example, within the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, the Department of Nutrition partners with CHS so students can provide nutrition counseling to CHS clients. The collaboration gives students an opportunity to apply their skills in a real-world setting while providing an extended service to CHS clients that can be helpful in reducing nutrition-related health disparities.
“Strengthening our community collaborations to advance our mission to enhance care for all is a key pillar of our strategic plan at Cherokee Health Systems,” said CHS CEO Parinda Khatri. “REACCH represents a framework for our innovative partnership with the University of Tennessee, and it’s an exciting step towards creating an exemplar community and academic hub for research, teaching and clinical service.”
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