THE Adams County Health Department will soon be helping to fill an important need in some rural communities.
A mobile clinic is scheduled to begin offering primary medical, behavioral and oral health care services at schools in Liberty, Payson, Mendon, Camp Point and Mount Sterling. This service will provide needed assistance in helping families get the services required to meet school medical examination requirements.
The mobile clinic is being funded through a $300,000 grant from the Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation. "The Wellness Express" should be delivered within the next month and be providing service before the start of the 2017-18 school year.
The mobile clinic is a partnership among the Health Department, Blessing Health System, Chaddock, Regional Office of Education 1, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Center for Family Medicine in Quincy and the United Way of Adams County.
The Wellness Express is modeled on other mobile clinics operating in Illinois. Ongoing funding for the program will come through fees generated by the clinic and support from its partners.
The Health Department should be applauded for its continued outreach efforts, including the work it continues with the dental clinic at its downtown Quincy headquarters.
The clinic began in 1995, designed to aid low-income, disabled, elderly and fixed-income patients access dental care. Children are the principal focus for two full-time and two part-time dentists at the clinic, which also sees adult patients who meet financial criteria.
In addition, the dental clinic will now be able to enhance its aid through an agreement with the Missouri School of Dentistry and Oral Health that will have the Adams County Dental Clinic serve as a training site for dental students.
The target of the Health Department remains simple, albeit complex at the same time. Dr. Tina Lucas Stoner, who is one of the Health Department's longest-serving dentists, understands what needs to be accomplished.
"The goal is to get any patient access to care," Stoner said. "We can't serve everybody all the time, but hopefully we can maximize our capabilities with personnel, staff and resources and just do the best we can to increase awareness."
That is an important step as the Health Department broadens its outreach to help serve a community need.