Grant awarded for mobile health clinic for rural schools

By Herald-Whig
Posted: May. 17, 2016 9:55 am
QUINCY -- A $300,000 grant will be used to buy a mobile health clinic that can be used to increase access to primary, behavioral and oral healthcare in the school setting in Adams and Brown counties.

The Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation grant was awarded to the Adams County Health Department will allow services to be made available to students in Payson, Liberty, Mendon, Camp Point and Mount Sterling later this year.

A partnership of community organizations announced news of the grant Monday. The organizations are the Health Department, Blessing Health System, Chaddock, the Regional Office of Education, SIU Center for Family Medicine Quincy and the United Way of Adams County

Health Department Administrator Jerrod Welch said the mobile clinic should help improve the access for rural residents.

"We believe that providing care to students in their communities and reducing the time that they are out of school will improve their overall well-being and academic success," Welch said. "We're grateful to the Children's Healthcare Foundation and our local partners for helping to make this project a reality."

Services will be provided by the Health Department, Blessing, Chaddock and SIU, but additional providers might come onboard as the project develops.

"This type of integrated health model allows us to respond to the needs of the whole child in a coordinated way," said Chaddock President and CEO Debbie Reed. "Through this partnership, we believe we can positively impact overall health of youth throughout our rural communities by providing seamless care for physical, behavioral and dental health, as well as health education, in a single location in the child's home community."

The Regional Office of Education coordinated support among school districts that will see the opportunity for students to conveniently access care with minimal disruption to their school day.

"With school attendance a key driver for graduation, having an on-site clinic at our rural schools will minimize classroom absences," said Regional Superintendent of Schools Jill Reis.

The mobile clinic will be designed and built later this summer with an expected delivery date in the late fall 2016. Blessing has committed additional funding to finance the remainder of the clinic's cost after the grant.