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Grant to Expand Health Programs

St. Luke's Hospital & Health Network Awarded $500,000 Grant to Help Expand its School-based Health Programs

Monies will allow St. Luke's to continue providing free medical care to children in Lehigh and Northampton Counties

Bethlehem, PA (8/23/2011) - St. Luke's Hospital & Health Network is pleased to announce that its Community Health Department has received a $500,000 grant to expand and continue its school-based health centers and mobile health clinics in Northampton and Lehigh Counties.

“We are extremely thankful that our grant proposal was accepted and awarded to St. Luke's. We were very fortunate to be one of only five sites in Pennsylvania awarded this grant,” states Rick Anderson, President & CEO of St. Luke's. “With this funding, we will be better able to serve the children of our region and provide direct access to proper medical care.”

The grant, provided by the Health Resources and Services Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, will allow St. Luke's to purchase necessary medical equipment for its existing school-based health center programs. An additional mobile medical van will also be added to St. Luke's growing fleet.

Only 278 grants were awarded nation-wide for a total of $95 million in funding. Specifically, these funds are a direct result of the Affordable Care Act, which appropriated a total of $200 million from 2010-2013 specifically for school-based health centers.

Services and Resources for Children and Adolescents without Insurance

School-based services provided through St. Luke's include a wide-range of family practice services and resources for pediatric and adolescent children who do not have insurance. Students who have been identified by the participating school district as needing these services may be treated for acute illnesses such as the flu or more chronic conditions such as asthma or diabetes. Additionally, St. Luke's school-based programs provide resources for students on issues such as healthy eating habits, dating violence and substance abuse.

St. Luke's school-based programs include clinics at both Donegan Elementary School and Broughal Middle School in Bethlehem, as well as its mobile “HealthStar” medical and dental vans.

Additional Van and New Equipment

“With this grant, not only will we be able to purchase necessary medical equipment for our existing sites, we will also be able to expand our services to the Allentown School District,” states Bonnie Coyle, MD, St. Luke's Director of Community Health. “We will be able to help more children in more areas get the care they need.”

New medical equipment will include a spirometer and neubulizer, both instrumental in diagnosing/treating children with asthma, and an EKG machine to allow for diagnostic tests to be performed onsite. In addition, St. Luke's plans to implement electronic medical records for these student patients, allowing caregivers easier, quicker access to information.

An additional mobile medical van will be purchased to help launch St. Luke's program into the Allentown School District, providing free care to children without insurance. St. Luke's plans to have this van operational in the 2012-2013 school year.

Services Vital to Quality-of-Life and Academic Achievements of Children

“We are proud of the services we offer to our community. Many of our clients do not have transportation or insurance, so our school-based services are vital to the quality of life and academic achievements of these children,” says Coyle. “We are grateful to our public and private contributors who help support these important programs.”

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the grants awarded under the Affordable Care Act will increase the number of children served by 440,000 nationwide. Locally, St. Luke's will be able to serve an additional 1,000 children with its grant monies.

St. Luke's Community Health Department is a founding member of the Bethlehem Partnership for a Healthy Community. The partnership is a collaborative initiative of more than 60 local business, government, educational and community organizations which share responsibility to fulfill the mission to improve the health status and quality of life of our community. To learn more, visit the Bethlehem Partnership for a Healthy Community or St. Luke's Community Health Department and its programs, or call St. Luke's InfoLink at 1-866-STLUKES.

The Health Resources and Services Administration is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HRSA is the primary Federal agency responsible for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable. For more information about HRSA and its programs, visit www.hrsa.gov.