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HEALTH

The Center for Rural Outreach and Public Services, Inc. (CROPS) helped establish a rural health network in Northwest Indiana by receiving a federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in 2007. Currently the consortium consists of ten members and is expected to grow, as well as be replicated in other rural committees. For more information on HRSA, rural health network grants, or health technology grants, contact Beverly Santicola at via email at info@us-government-grants.net. The CROPS rural health network currently consists of the following collaborative partners:

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Founded in 1937 by the Catholic religious congregation of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, Ancilla College is a two-year liberal arts college located on an idyllic campus among the lakes and cornfields of northern Indiana. With a 15:1 student faculty ratio and an average of 550 students, the College combines seventeen rigorous academic programs and a strong core curriculum with a nurturing and friendly atmosphere that prides itself on the success of its graduates at baccalaureate institutions and in the workplace. Ancilla provides six competitive sports to promote physical health, an active campus ministry to support spiritual development, a commitment to creating sustainable environments, technologically advanced classrooms and labs, and extensive tutorial services. Ancilla College has a two year nursing program that will contribute to the success of the CROPS Health Network Center by providing screenings, health education, and training programs. Ancilla will take the lead role in establishing the Parish Nurse program proposed in this project and assist with the creation of a simulation center as well as conducting health fairs and screenings.

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The mission of HealthLinc is to provide affordable, quality health care services to the uninsured and underinsured. It provides primary and preventive medical, dental, and mental health care for the underserved in Northwest Indiana. HealthLinc cares for anyone, regardless of their ability to pay. Many of its patients have Medicaid coverage and many are uninsured and pay on a sliding fee scale basis. HealthLinc began as a small, free clinic, as part of Hilltop Neighborhood House in 1994, and then expanded in 2001 to become Hilltop Community Health Center, adding Medicaid-eligible patients to an already growing roster of uninsured and underinsured patients. In 2006, HealthLinc received the designation of Federally Qualified Health Center which means that it receives some government grants, can bill for the services provided and must meet standards for financial prudence and quality of care. HealthLinc will take the lead role in bringing TelePharmacy to Starke County and providing distance learning opportunities for the project.

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Dr. Byron Holm, a licensed family medicine physician, operates a private practice in Plymouth, Indiana called the Holm Medical Clinic that has been serving patients of all ages since 1974. Dr. Holm’s role in the CROPS Health Network Center project is to serve as the network’s Medical Director, and to participate as a network member to recruit and convene other health care network partners, maintain an updated business plan, and assist with future funding/sustainability. Holm has expertise in medical technology and will assist network partners in establishing a program that has the most current technology available. In addition, Holm Medical Clinic will provide basic health care services such as screenings and educational programs described in this proposal.

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The Fitness Forum is a medical fitness center that offers a variety of services to the CROPS Health Network Center, including meeting space and free health and fitness screenings. The “medical fitness difference” is based upon a number of factors which positively impact the consumer and the affiliated health care organization. A medical fitness center identifies and utilizes an individual’s unique medical profile. This enables qualified medical fitness professionals to design a dynamic, safe and medically supervised fitness program as a necessary component to achieving optimal health, preventing and treating disease through the incorporation of exercise based therapies. Consumer success is significantly enhanced through medical supervision, clinical integration, and the support services of the affiliated health care organization, which allows medical fitness professionals to concentrate on producing positive client outcomes. The Fitness Forum will assist with baseline assessments and screenings.

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As a network partner, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) provides a wealth of medical and community educational programs and resources geared to wellness and health care responder issues. The ISDH is an invaluable asset to the network, providing assistance in a myriad of support functions. This state agency offers education and preparedness for natural and health-related incident management. ISDH’s role will be to help facilitate distance learning health education programs through video conferencing capabilities.

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Indiana University South Bend is a regional campus of Indiana University that offers 100 degree programs. South Bend is IU’s largest regional campus with a student enrollment of more than 8,000. 80% of the award-winning faculty holds the highest degree offered in their field. The School of Health and the Nursing Professions is one of the finest programs in the country and works to address the critical shortage of nurses and other health care professionals in the U.S. The Division of Dental Education at IUSB trains Dental Assistants and Dental Hygienists, granting both Associate and Bachelor Degrees in Dental Hygiene. Community collaboration is a hallmark of the University, with students engaging in countless service projects throughout their collegiate careers. Because it is a regional campus, IUSB faculty often form valuable partnerships with various segments of the community and involve their students directly in real life problem solving projects. Entrance into the Dental Hygiene program at IUSB is highly competitive, resulting in a student body that performs at an above average level. The students that will be involved in the CROPS Health Network Center will be actively engaged in the internal evaluation process under the supervision of Associate Faculty member Cathy Alwine.

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The Northwest Indiana AHEC (Area Health Education Center) is housed at Purdue University- Calumet and is directed by Lynn Olszewski and Associate Director Christine DeNicola. The AHEC program was developed by Congress in 1971 to recruit, train and retain a health professions workforce committed to underserved populations. The strength of the AHEC Network is its ability to creatively adapt national initiatives to help address local and regional healthcare issues. Today, 54 AHEC programs with more than 200 centers operate in almost every state and the District of Columbia. Approximately 120 medical schools and 600 nursing and allied health schools work collaboratively with AHECs to improve health for underserved and under-represented populations. The AHEC program helps bring the resources of academic medicine to address local community health needs. The Indiana AHEC Network shares and supports the mission as initiated originally by Congress. As such, its mission is "to improve health by recruiting, educating, and retaining health care professionals in underserved communities.” It was established in 2001 with funding from the Federal Government’s Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA). Realizing the important role AHEC plays in improving the health of its residents, funds have also been allocated by the Indiana State Legislature. The Indiana AHEC Network is developed and managed by the Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSOM). In addition, it is served by a statewide Advisory Board of more than 40 health care and health professions stakeholders. To learn more about the Indiana AHEC go to: www.ahec.iupui.edu

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Starke Memorial Hospital is a 53-bed acute care facility with an in-patient Life Skills Rehabilitation Unit, affiliated with the Indiana University Health System. Starke has 90 staff physicians to meet the varied needs of the communities they serve. Starke Memorial Hospital has assembled an array of community health care services for individuals and families to access quality services including routine check-ups and family-based care geared toward treatment of life-changing illnesses and health episodes. Starke Memorial Hospital’s role is to participate as a network member to recruit and convene other health care network partners, maintain an updated business plan, and assist with future funding/sustainability. In addition, Starke Memorial Hospital will provide health education programs at the Breakfast Club events and collaborate in the planning and implementation of health fairs.

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Indiana State Senator, Ed Charbonneau, serves as an advisor to the CROPS Rural Health Network and has a high degree of interest and responsibility to their constituents in the target region. Charbonneau participates in meetings, as well as helps make connections with other local, state and national organizations.

 

CROPS
2929 Buffalo Speedway, Suite 213
Houston, TX 77098
Phone: +1 866 843 3493
FAX: +1 713 960 0537
E-mail: info@growingrural.com