The Morgan County Health Department continues to see great success in their partnership with the SIU Center for Family Medicine.
The Center for Family Medicine is located in the Morgan County Health Department facility, and is provided in a partnership with Passavant Area Hospital, SIU and the Morgan County Health Department.
Dale Bainter, Executive Director of the Health Department says that the marriage of the two of the two groups in one location has been a great addition to provide medical services for more people in the community.
“We have seen access to care for a lot of individuals who had not seen care previously in their life or in several years. With the roll out of M.C.O.’s in Illinois where the medicaid system turned into a managed care organization, there were a lot of individuals who might not have been able to access care, and we have been able to provide that.”
The SIU Center for Family Medicine officially opened it’s doors on August 29th of 2016. Since then, Bainter says that having both facilities available in the same location means both health care groups have seen an increase in the number of patients they are able to help.
“A lot of the clients who originally started out in the SIU Family Care Medicine side came from the health department. There were people who were there for other services who didn’t have a primary care doctor so we rolled them right in, and now we see the reciprocal of that, with individuals coming in there for services that didn’t realize they could get their flu shot at the health department, didn’t realize they could enroll in the W.I.C. programs, so we have really tried to make a marriage of it. A lot of times our clients, they don’t realize how easy the transition is, they don’t realize we are utilizing both sides of the building to serve them as efficiently as possible.”
Bainter says that the Health Department used to see a slow down in the amount of clients coming in this time of year, but now since the Center for Family Medicine has been in place for a number of years, both facilities stay busy year round.
“We used to slow down a lot this time of year, and we are busy all the time now. There are days that during the back to school season, with physicals in the primary care side of the clinic, and immunizations, we were running 60, 70, 80 people through that building in a day.”
The Morgan County Health Department works to stay informed of the health needs of not only the Jacksonville area, but nation wide. Bainter says the Health Department continues to work to adapt to the changing trends in healthcare, in order to provide the nest service possible for Morgan County.
“One thing with public health is the ability to adapt. We are always adapting to whatever is emerging as the new disease, risk, or infection. Unfortunately the need for STD services continue to grow on a national and world wide basis, and that is truly the next and current epidemic. Those rates continue to go up anywhere between 10% to 20% a year across the world.
In our area, we have managed to keep numbers pretty steady or down a little bit. We have a project that we have worked on with Passavant now for about five or five and a half years where we run an STD clinic that is available to everyone. It provides anonymity of services and it’s also free, so we as a team have really done a good job of serving the community the best we can with the limited resources we have.”
Bainter says they are vary proud of the STD Clinic project and hopes to continue to see occurrences of STD’s in Morgan County stay well below the national trends.
To find out more information about the services provided by the Heath Department, call 245-5111
For information or to schedule an appointment with the SIU Center for Family Medicine, call 245-7666