SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the awarding of $1.2 million to five community health centers to improve the delivery of primary health care services to the state’s medically underserved or uninsured populations.
“There is nothing more important to the health of our citizens than having access to primary care,” Blagojevich said. “But there are parts of the state where such care is nonexistent or not enough. Investing in community clinics will help serve the health needs of people in their area who are underserved or uninsured."
The grants, which can be renewed for up to three years, are available to federally qualified health centers that are private, nonprofit organizations and provide primary health care to medically underserved individuals. The health centers receive funding from a variety of sources, public and private, and must meet U.S. Public Health Service guidelines.
A review committee consisting of health professionals from throughout the state recommended the following projects from the 22 applications received by the Illinois Department of Public Health:
Central Counties Health Center, Springfield, $293,500 – Grant money will be used to support the addition of an oral health component as part of the health center’s relocation and expansion of services at 2239 E. Cook Street. The center, which projects a minimum of 35,000 visits over a three-year period, will employ three full-time dentists, three full-time dental hygienist, six dental assistants and support staff.
Community Health Partnership, Chicago, $159,655 – CHP will use the funds to expand medical capacity at its sites to better serve migrant and seasonal farm workers and families in Aurora, Woodstock, Momence, Chicago Heights, Mendota and Hoopeston. The project’s goal is to increase access to comprehensive primary health care services and serve an additional 1,000 migrant and seasonal farm workers for each of three years.
Crusader Clinic, Rockford, $292,500 – The clinic will partner with the Stephenson County Health Department to establish a full-time medical and dental clinic at the health department in Freeport. The facility will house nine examination rooms and two dental examination rooms. It will be staffed by a family physician, nurse, nurse manager, medical assistant, dentist, two dental support staff, an interpreter and office staff. During the first year of operation, access to medical and dental care will increase by 4,000 encounters.
Erie Family Health Center, Chicago, $198,139 – The center will support a school-based health center to provide primary health care, behavioral health, pediatric dental services and health education to the 1,500 students at Jose de Diego Elementary Community Academy in Chicago. Services will later be expanded to include students’ families, as well as the surrounding West Town community areas. First year funding will provide a full-time nurse, a part-time nurse practitioner, a part-time behavioral health provider and support staff.
Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation, East St. Louis, $292,500 – Grant funds will be used for a new clinic in Cahokia that will provide family, obstetric and gynecologic and pediatric services. It is projected that patient visits will increase by 2,810 over three years.