The Webster County Health Department has received a boost in funding to help establish a program that will reach out to individuals in a six county area in North Central Iowa.
Webster County was recently named one of two recipients out of 15 applicants in the state of Iowa to receive $300,000 in Community Care Coordination funds to help improve patient care coordination to underserved populations. The funds were awarded by the Iowa Collaborative Safety Net Provider Network of the Iowa Primary Care Association and were made possible by legislation that was passed during the 2013 session.
Kari Prescott, executive director of the Webster County Health Department, said the money will be used to implement the Your Community Care Team, which will help those in need of services get in contact with the care providers they need.
"It will be a tri-navigation system," said Prescott. "We will utilize community coordinators from the hospital and the Berryhill Center and health department."
Prescott said the program will help patients with everything from transportation services to medication management and mental health care.
It will be for those that need some extra assistance, for anyone who needs a little bit of extra care in our area.
When a primary care provider learns of a patient in need of assistance, they can be referred to the program, Prescott said.
"We will work with healthcare and mental healthcare providers along with public health in six counties to help them get connected," she said. "When a physician learns of someone in need of services we will have a social worker and a nurse available to help integrate that care."
The program will also involve health departments in Calhoun, Humboldt, Hamilton, Pocahontas and Wright counties.
Prescott said the funds have helped to make a program that was in the early planning stages become a reality.
"We were glad to get the funds because that will make this possible," she said. "We had been working with Pioneer ACO to coordinate care and this will help us with infrastructure and all of the extras. Before, you could only do what you had in the budget to do, and this will greatly enhance what we are hoping to establish."