Education

Health care initiative moving beyond school-based clinic

Troup, Mike

Michael Kipley 1|
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jan. 4, 2019 10:00 pm

QUINCY -- A medical clinic at a Quincy Public Schools site may have been an initial option for the School-Based Health Care Committee.

But now Quincy School Board member Mike Troup doesn't see that happening -- at least not in the next three years -- thanks to work with the Adams County Health Department and its Wellness Express.

"With that helping with immunizations, looking at coordination and bringing in different health providers for physicals, that has had a very positive impact," Troup said.

Health Department Administrator Jerrod Welch said several back-to-school events with the Wellness Express helped ensure QPS students were ready to come back to school.

"Quincy's been really great to work with. We've really made what we think is substantial progress," Welch said.

"As we go through the school year, we continue to look for opportunities," he said. "We're doing the best we can to make sure school-age children in QPS are able to get access to the care they need and are in school and able to focus on education while they're there."

Providers in the community -- Quincy Medical Group, Blessing Physician Services and Southern Illinois University Center for Family Medicine -- all have participated in providing services to QPS students and families without a cost to the district.

"So I think looking at the next one to three years, I don't believe this committee is going to come back and say we need X square feet or X location to house a medical facility anywhere on QPS facilities," Troup said.

An ongoing hot-spotting effort also is helping students and families deal with medical issues. Hot spotting dives deeper with families into conversations on trust, fear, isolation, stress and other core issues that lead to "symptoms" like truancy, not taking prescribed medication or missing medical appointments.

"Our community health workers are scheduling, updating and informing the families they're dealing with where all these services are," Troup said. "This is not only medical facilities but mental health, social workers and dental. Quincy is lucky to have lots of providers in the medical community for different services."

Hot spotting, launched in mid-March with six families and 11 children in the pilot project with two part-time community workers, was another step in a partnership between SIU School Medicine and QPS through the district's school-based health care initiative and SIU's federally qualified health center.

The pilot project is expanding to two full-time community health workers to serve more families beginning this month.