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LifeLinks receives a grant from the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation

Posted by on Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 @ 3:54 pm.

MATTOON, Ill. – Funding from the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation will benefit children in Cumberland and five other counties in rural east central Illinois through a new and innovative program called ICARE Kids. LifeLinks, a not for profit community mental health center serving East Central Illinois for more than 50 years, received a $421,196 grant to integrate primary and behavioral health care for children ages 5 to 18. Partnering with Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation (SIHF), a community-based, Federally Qualified Heath Center (FQHC) network that serves patients throughout 10 counties in southern and southeastern Illinois, ICARE Kids will be available to SIHF pediatric and adolescent patients in seven sites by the beginning of 2018. “We are very grateful to the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation for the funding to provide innovative integrated services for children,” reported Lynette Ashmore, LifeLinks’ Executive Director, “and for the wonderful partner we have in Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation.”

While many children visit SIHF primary care doctor’s offices for preventive services like immunizations, well child checkups and minor illnesses, no screening for social emotional issues was being done within the seven target sites. “We knew that some children had emotional issues,” added Connie Horn, Regional Vice President for Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation, “but we didn’t have a good process for helping them. Now we do!” The program’s title, ICARE Kids, represents its innovative, coordinated, accessible, research based, and efficient design. ICARE Kids, which is fully operational in 4 SIHF sites – Cumberland County Health Center in Greenup, Effingham Health Center, Charleston Health Center and Mattoon Medical Center – will address this issue by screening all children who come to the clinic for social emotional disorders. “ICARE Kids is designed to identify children who may be struggling with issues like depression or anger so they can get help before it negatively impacts the rest of their lives,” according to Callie Livingston, ICARE Kids Coordinator. “Everyone goes to the doctor’s office. It’s a comfortable place where kids and families go to get their physical health care needs met. ICARE Kids adds behavioral health to the service and by doing so, helps to eliminate some the stigma associated with mental health problems.“ In addition to the universal screening, children and adolescents who have a mental health concern will receive state of the art evidence based treatment. Close collaboration between the primary care practitioner and the mental health clinician insures, “that all of the child’s needs are met in one location,” added Livingston.

By the end of 2017 ICARE Kids will open at three additional SIHF sites – Weber Medical Center in Olney, Salem Medical Center, and Vandalia Healthcare Center – and will be serving approximately 5,700 of SIHF’s patients in six counties – Coles, Cumberland, Effingham, Fayette, Richland and Marion. A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) is being recruited to provide evaluation and medication management (as needed) to children served by ICARE Kids. One unique element of the ICARE Kids design is that the PNP will also be available to provide education and consultation to the child’s primary care practitioner to help them develop comfort in ongoing psycho active medication management for children. “Many practitioners report that they would like to develop more comfort with these types of medications for children,” noted Livingston.

For more information about ICARE Kids families can reach Callie Livingston at (217) 238-5701 or they can call the Mattoon, Charleston, Effingham or Greenup Clinics directly and ask to speak to the ICARE Kids Clinician.

Short URL: https://www.disclosurenewsonline.com/?p=91900

Posted by on Jun 3 2017. Filed under Breaking, Coles, Cumberland. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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