Renamed HOPE, for health care, oral health care, prevention and
education, the van is part of the Rural Health Partnership. It
serves qualifying county population that is maybe without a primary
care physician or health insurance and in need of dental care or
unable to travel.
A nurse practitioner and a registered nurse will continue to
provide core medical services on the van. They perform a wide
variety of services, ranging from blood pressure and diabetes checks
to immunizations and minor wound care. School physicals were
successfully added last year. It was also decided to add a dental
hygienist to the service last year.
Lessen said that it was with this year's review of what is the
most needed in health care in our communities that dental care
access was determined.
Applications are being taken for the dentist position. Lessen was
proud to announce that her dentist, Dr. Morales, has committed to
volunteer one Friday a month.
The new van allows a large space for the dental practice at one
end, a special area for nurse practitioner exams at the other end
and space between for standard testing and immunizations.
The surprise of the day was a challenge put to all groups in the
partnership. In the coming year the agency will begin the process of
proving their achievements.
Dr. Sharon Hull, a research associate professor in the Department
of Medical Humanities at SIU School of Medicine and a family
physician, was guest speaker. Hull said that she first learned about
the work here when she received an excited call last year from Dr.
John Record of SIU School of Medicine to "come see what is happening
in Healthy Communities."
Dr. Record has been in contact with the Logan County agency for
years. He was guest speaker at last year's report, and in his
closing remarks he said: "You guys are doing things I don't see
going on anywhere else in Illinois. Congratulations, and keep up the
Hull complimented the groups for working so well together and
contributing to the betterment of the community, saying that the
impact you have together is more than what anyone can do separately.
Keynote speaker Dr. Sharon Hull addresses a crowd of community
leaders and health care providers.
Hull was asked to speak in accordance with her own special
abilities and introduced a new process that all the partnerships
will enter into this year. At 10 years, the time is right to begin
measuring what has happened in people's lives because of the
presence of the Healthy Communities groups, she said. Everyone knows
our communities have been affected by the care and actions of the
groups, but it has to be measured; measurements prove the
achievement of goals.
One important reason to do this is to be able to continue
receiving grants and funding, she said.
Hull then set the stage for thinking about how to begin that
She challenged the representatives present for proof of their
accomplishments: "How do you know what you are doing is making a
[to top of second column]
"No students have lost their lives on prom night," Logan County
Emergency Management Agency director Dan Fulscher said. Numerous
alternative activities and rewards have been provided for teens on
that night, as well as timely crash demonstrations linking drinking
and driving prior to the event.
Weekend meal deliveries have helped seniors stay in their homes
who otherwise would have been institutionalized, said Margie Harris,
Logan County Health Department assistant administrator.
A woman visiting the mobile unit came in saying she didn't feel
well that day, Ruth Freeman, R.N., said. A new grant allowed them to
test her hemoglobin. Her count was 7.3, while the normal scale is
12-16. She had three units of blood transfusion that day.
The woman would not have been able to afford the test without the
Returning to her presentation, Hull said, "You begin by knowing
your goals and mission." It takes five to 10 years of prevention
history before you begin measuring outcomes.
Hull then talked about some methods to attain those measurements.
"You now have a wonderful 10-year history," she said. The teens who
were in programs are now young adults. See how they are doing now.
You can look at medication improvements, count heads coming on the
van for care or the number attending an event -- even meeting
minutes can be used to process measures, she said.
At a strategic planning retreat this fall, the groups will get an
opportunity to brainstorm how they will gather their measurements to
prove the impact on the community, Lessen said.
After the stats are gathered, Hull will help with resources to
get the word out about what Healthy Communities has done, Lessen
Representatives of each of the divisions of Health Communities
Partnership then gave summaries of this year's activities. Please
take a moment to look at those and see what your friends and
neighbors are quietly doing to improve the quality of our lives in
this place we all call home. They are listed below this article.
In addition to the reports, the parents of a Lincoln teen who
lost his life in an alcohol- and drug-related accident a few years
ago presented a scholarship. Dick and Marsha Logan offer the award
in memory of Daniel Logan to a counseling or law enforcement major
each year. For the second year in a row Nathaniel Kessinger was
selected. He is a law enforcement major entering his sophomore year
at Western University.
(Click on links below for reproductions of pages
in the Healthy Communities Partnership report packet.)