Congressman Pete Visclosky announced that Valparaiso-based HealthLinc, Inc., has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to obtain a new mobile school-based health center (MSBHC) that will serve young people throughout Northwest Indiana.
According to HealthLinc, the new MSBHC will enhance medical and dental capabilities for the delivery of primary medical services and screenings, as well as dental and mental health services. HealthLinc cited statistics showing that only 46-85 percent of Indiana children receive needed vaccinations due to financial and non-financial barriers in its grant request to HRSA. The organization will use the MSBHC for site-delivered health services that will reduce these burdens on families and schools.
CEO of HealthLinc Beth Wrobel said, "HealthLinc believes in providing a health care home to those who need one in a manner and place that is accessible. This grant will allow us to provide much needed medical, behavioral health, and dental care to school children, their families and the communities we serve by bringing it directly to them. We appreciate Congressman Visclosky's support in making our dream become a reality."
HealthLinc will work with various institutions of higher education, including Ivy Tech Community College, Indiana University Northwest Health Sciences Division, Indiana University School of Dentistry and Purdue University-North Central to provide an experiential opportunity for health science students through the MSBHC. They will partner with Porter Starke Services, Swanson Center and Oak Lawn Community Mental Health Centers to provide integrated behavioral health services.
Congressman Visclosky commended HealthLinc's efforts to obtain the MSBHC, saying, "The physical and mental health of Northwest Indiana children must be our top priority. With a mobile health center for our schools, we will be one step closer to the day when no child will have to walk through the doors of a classroom without access to the care they deserve. I thank Beth Wrobel and all of the dedicated staff of HealthLinc for their work to give our children a healthy start."
The grant award totals $500,000.