Health centers receive $6.2 million to combat spread of coronavirus

Five health centers in Southern Illinois have received over $6.2 million in grants to help combat the spread of coronavirus. 

The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Health Center Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, CARES, Act Funding program, which was signed into law March 27.

U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., announced the awarding of the grant funds April 8 in a news release. 

“Through these uncertain times, our medical workers and hospital staff have made incredible sacrifices to keep us safe,” Bost said. 

“These grants will provide much-needed resources to Southern Illinois health centers so they can continue to treat patients and protect our communities from coronavirus.”

Southern Illinois centers which are receiving funds include:

Rural Health Inc., which has its main site in Anna: $761,120. Rural Health also has medical clinics in Dongola, Goreville, Vienna and Metropolis.

Southern Illinois Health Care Foundation, Inc. in East St. Louis: $2,311,505.

 Shawnee Health Service And Development Corporation in Carterville: $1,063,805.

 Christopher Rural Health Planning Corp. in Christopher: $1,247,930.

Community Health & Emergency Services, Inc. in Cairo: $878,615.

Rural Health Inc. chief executive officer Cindy Flamm said the grant funding will help to keep staff members on the job and also will be utilized in the purchase of supplies which are needed in the fight against coronavirus/COVID-19.

All of Rural Health’s 94 employees continue to be on the job. Some have been working at home. Schedules for clinical staff are being staggered.

Flamm and Rural Health Inc. chief operating officer Jodie Stewart said in a telephone interview that efforts have been underway since mid-March to meet the challenges presented by the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. The goal is to ensure the ongoing safety and well-being of Rural Health’s staff and patients.

At this time, a limited number of patients are actually coming to the Rural Health clinic in Anna. Those who do come to the  clinic are screened when they arrive.

Telehealth resources are being utilized to assist patients. 

Rural Health has ordered and is expecting to receive testing kits which are seen as key tools in meeting the challenge of the pandemic. 

As of early this week, no positive coronavirus/COVID-19 tests had been reported in Union County. Positive results have been reported in Jackson, Williamson, Johnson and Pulaski counties – all of which border Union County.

Rural Health urges Union County residents to see the pandemic as a situation which is very real – and to take health care precautions very seriously. 

Rural Health will continue to work hard to ensure that health care for all patients is maintained.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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