WINSTON-SALEM, NC - The Winston-Salem State University's School of Health Sciences received a large grant for a new health program for students and community members. 

The three-year grant of $269,000 will fund Project REACHE, or Rams Employment and Community Health Equity. 

According to a release from University, Project REACHE will focus in four key areas:

  • Decreasing fall risk and frailty of underserved older adults through community screenings and referrals.
  • Improving the mobility of residents with neurological conditions by providing free occupational therapy and physical therapy evaluations, and, if needed, referrals to providers and home exercise programs.
  • Supporting aging in place for older residents by proving home safety screenings, home renovations and modifications, and education.
  • Providing job skills and employment opportunities for youth with disabilities by training them to provide home safety screenings and modifications

The program plans to expand on the community outreach programs WSSU already offers faculty and students, explained Dr. Peggy Valentine, SOHS dean and principal investigator for Project REACHE, 

“We also will provide invaluable hands-on training for our students in physical therapy, occupational therapy and rehabilitation counseling, helping them hone their cultural competence skills, so they will be prepared to care for diverse patient populations.”

The school got the grant from United Way Place Matters program, which aims to strengthen and create lasting change in neighborhoods. 

“It’s clear there isn’t one solution,” Dr. Yolanda Edwards, professor and program coordinator/chair for the WSSU Department of Rehabilitation Counseling. “By partnering with a diverse group of community resources and agencies, we can align our efforts to improve the quality of life for those most vulnerable in our community.”

The program launched this spring with meetings with community partners. For more information, contact 336-750-2694 or