The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

July 30, 2010

Health agency expands its services

DANVILLE — Another local agency is taking up where the Vermilion County Health Department was forced to leave off.

American Family Health Care will offer sexually transmitted disease clinics and Family Planning services beginning Sept. 7. The STD clinics — which include testing and treatment — will be available on a walk-in basis on Tuesdays.

The Family Planning side of things will be offered by appointment on Mondays and Wednesday through Friday. Dawn Kime, the coordinator for the center, said the services are more than just handing out contraceptives to people

“There so much more that goes along with it,” she said. “Education is the key and helps with unintended pregnancies and teen pregnancies and STDs.”

She stressed the importance of the STD clinics given the area’s rate, which is among the highest in recent years.

“With the numbers that were thrown at us, it’s obvious that the community needs this,” she said. “Now people will have a place to go.”

A number of services provided for years by the Vermilion County Health Department were lost because of cuts earlier this year.

Doug Toole, director for environmental health at the health department, said there are two main organizations that are either planning or providing prior health department services. Aunt Martha’s is handling some family planning as well some Targeted Intensive Prenatal Case Management and also Health Moms/Healthy Kids. The East Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging has subcontracted with CRIS Healthy Aging Center to provide case coordinator services to seniors.

He said the health department has spoken to a number of other facilities, such as American Family Health Care, that also are working toward providing services.

Toole said he applauds the efforts by the organizations.

Kime said health department personnel have been excellent in assisting American Family Health Care as have state health officials who have pointed them in the right direction.

Julie Holycross is a physician’s assistant at the health care center. As a native of the Danville area, she was ready take on the extra responsibilities when Kime proposed the idea.

“We wanted to help out the community,” she said.

Current plans call for a $25 charge for STD or Family Planning patients with no insurance, although Holycross said the health center is working on reducing that.

A rural health clinic is also in the works for the future at the health center, she said.

 

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