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Local

St. Charles clinic receives grant supporting chronic disease initiative

The Tri City Health Partnership in St. Charles has received a $35,000 grant from the CVS Health Foundation. The grant will support the partnership's new Coordinated Chronic Care Initiative.
The Tri City Health Partnership in St. Charles has received a $35,000 grant from the CVS Health Foundation. The grant will support the partnership's new Coordinated Chronic Care Initiative.

ST. CHARLES – A new Tri City Health Partnership initiative that targets patients with chronic diseases has gotten a $35,000 boost from the CVS Health Foundation.

The partnership, 318 Walnut St., St. Charles, provides free health care to low-income, uninsured individuals in central Kane County.

This grant will help it fund a variety of components of its Coordinated Chronic Care Initiative, including medical supplies, medications, educational materials and postage, Executive Director Shannon Watson wrote in an email.

"Access to quality medical care is fundamental for at-risk populations such as those who are low-income and are without any health care coverage," she wrote.

"The generous CVS Health Foundation grant will help TCHP continue to fulfill our mission of providing quality health care in an environment of mutual respect to members of the community without the ability to pay for services."

Tri City Health Partnership was one of 46 free clinics and community health centers that received a grant, which was awarded as part of the CVS Health Foundation's multi-year, $5 million commitment to address the need for more accessible, coordinated health care, according to a press release.

Community Health Care Clinic in Normal was the only other agency in Illinois to get a grant.

In an email, foundation President Eileen Howard Boone wrote that the organization works with the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics – of which Tri City Health Partnership is a member – to identify places that are in the most need of funding for programs dedicated to chronic disease management and prevention, improved care coordination and increased access to quality care.

"Tri City Health Partnership's Coordinated Chronic Care Initiative strives to assist clinic patients in the management of their chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease and hypertension, and improve their overall health by providing medical treatment, medication and supplies and comprehensive health education," Boone wrote.

"The initiative closely aligns with the CVS Health Foundation's commitment to helping to increase access to health care and supporting innovative approaches to chronic disease management in local communities, such as St. Charles."

Although the initiative officially began Jan. 1, Watson wrote, patients with chronic disease were identified in 2015. She wrote that initial activities focused on improving education and encouraging healthy lifestyles.

About 41 percent of the partnership's patients have a chronic disease, and many have diabetes and hypertension, Watson wrote.

She noted that unmanaged or poorly controlled chronic diseases can lead to negative long-term complications, and people with unmanaged chronic disease use emergency rooms at higher rates when when manifestations of their disease require acute intervention.

The Coordinated Chronic Care Initiative should teach patients to better manage their illness, Watson wrote.

"This, in turn, should reduce emergency room visits and unplanned hospital stays while greatly improving health outcomes and quality of life for patients," she wrote.

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