BROOKLYN — The Region 2 Area Agency on Aging was recently awarded a grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund (MHEF) in the amount of $50,000, according to a news release.

The grant money will be used for tele-health communication services, which are in high demand at this time, due to the current coronavirus crisis. The grant dollars will also supply Region 2 an established and robust tele-health program moving forward.

According to the news release, the funding will be used to strengthen current programs and services at the agency, including the MI Choice Medicaid Waiver Program, through providing tele-health services in the community with registered nurses and licensed master social workers.

Initially, staff will research existing tele-health programs — both local and remote — including remote monitoring, live video and/or audio calls with providers, health system portals that use secure messaging and other options.

“Providing care through tele-health will increase flexibility for providers to help reduce the load on health systems during this crisis and at other times of high usage in the future,” the news releases states. “Improved access to ongoing monitoring, preventative appointments, and timely diagnostic health care will increase overall health and help prevent complications, more involved treatment, and reduce hospitalizations in the long term.”

Additionally, Region 2 will use these new resources to develop educational materials and programs for community members who are not receiving on-going services though its offered programs. Agency staff will support clients and virtually attend appointments when appropriate to assist with support services and care coordination.

Region 2’s Assistive Technology Specialist will assist clients with learning to use the technologies when needed and to insure that those with physical and sensory limitations, are not excluded from using any of the tele-health options.

Region 2 Area Agency on Aging was established in 1974 and is a non-profit agency serving older adults with disabilities in Jackson, Hillsdale and Lenawee Counties. For additional information on this program or any of the other programs and services offered by the agency on aging, contact the Region 2 Area Agency on Aging by calling 517-592-1974 or visit them online at the website www.r2aaa.net.