A new network group called Connections has been formed to address the care and support needs of older residents in Hancock and Hawkins Counties. The network of community-based organizations and churches met Wednesday, March 31, in Rogersville to discuss the needs of older residents and how they could work together to address gaps in the social service safety net. The network brings together more than a dozen organizations and churches.

According to America’s Health Rankings Senior Report, Tennessee ranks in the bottom 10 states in the nation (43rd) for senior health and well-being. Rural Hancock and Hawkins Counties report even poorer health, social, and economic outcomes among older residents. For example, older adults in these two counties have more chronic conditions, more difficulty walking, less access to medical care, fewer financial and community resources, and greater risk of social isolation compared with other counties in the state.

The project is sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. For more information about the project contact Dr. Jodi Southerland at 423-401-5000.