GOSHEN — A local foundation’s latest wave of grant donations reflect the shifting sands of new health care laws.
The Goshen Hospital and Health Care Foundation’s grant committee voted Tuesday, July 1, to give out $38,000 to organizations that work on projects to help uninsured and underinsured children and adults.
Lynette Mischel, the foundation’s executive director, said the need to fill gaps in health care coverage, even after the Affordable Care Act’s implementation, is clear. While some clinics around the country have seen a drop in uninsured patients seeking treatment, premiums can still be unaffordable.
“We’re finding that there’s still a gap because when they buy their plan through the network, the premium is still awful,” she said. “Whatever number that is, it’s money that they don’t have for gas and food.”
The foundation raises money throughout the year for projects and programs, and a gala in June brought in nearly $100,000, drawing more than 220 supporters.
The foundation gave out $17,000 during the first half of 2014, and more grant requests will roll in throughout the year. The foundation distributes roughly $250,000 annually.
The grants committee approved the following requests Tuesday:
Provide behavioral health services through Oaklawn for Goshen Middle School students: $15,000
In the community health needs assessment by Elkhart General Hospital and IU Health Goshen Hospital, mental health was identified as one of the top six problems in Elkhart County.
“We came at it not by reading the report and deciding we’re going to target that,” Mischel said. “It popped up to our attention through Oaklawn because they’re the leaders of mental health.”
The foundation funded a program last year to identify and treat kids for behavioral health in an effort to improve their experience at Goshen Middle School.
“That worked out so well that they wanted to do it again this year,” Mischel said. “They identified students that required intervention and the outcomes included better attendance, minimized school discipline issues and hopefully it helps on the backend with their grades.”
Help fund a nurse practitioner position at the Center for Healing and Hope in Goshen: $10,000
Similar to a grant awarded two years ago, the foundation is partnering with local organizations to help pay for a full-time nurse practitioner at the Center for Healing and Hope, allowing additional treatment times throughout the week and boosting the center’s service capacity to help an additional 330 children from poor families per year.
Expand ADHD treatment program: $6,000
An ADHD treatment program that helped improve the focus of kids at Goshen Community Schools and local Boys and Girls Clubs over the past two years is expanding to Bashor Children’s Home in Goshen.
Academic and behavioral changes will be recorded, analyzed and reviewed with the Bashor clinic staff and reported to the foundation.
Free dental sealants to Goshen Community School students through the IU School of Dentistry Seal Mobile with new services for preschool children: $5,000
The foundation plans to build on the successes of a program that it has funded for the past three years. Seal Indiana is a statewide mobile dental seal program operated by the IU School of Dentistry, offering preventative dental services like examinations, sealants and fluoride varnish treatment for kids from low-income families.
The funding will allow the Seal Mobile to return to Goshen Community Schools next school year and expand the program to preschool children.
Kickstart Elkhart County foodshed study: $2,000
The foundation is hopping aboard an initiative to rebuild the local food system through a Purdue University extension program that will connect farmers, gardeners, businesses and nonprofit organizations.
“This is one of the coolest things that has come to us,” Mischel said. “We would be on the front end of kickstarting Elkhart County to be included in this Hoosier farmer report, which highlights complex relationships between poverty, limited access to health food and food-related disease. How cool is that?”
The foundation’s grant will pay for a consultant from Crossroads Resource Center to help with the project.