What are the desired outcomes?
- Improved access to medical, dental, and mental health care for children
- Improved health of students, ultimately improving school attendance and performance
- Decreased use of local emergency rooms for non-emergency situations
- Improved compliance
- Improved lifestyles and well-being
- Early identification/treatment of illness
What are common barriers to health care in the Iowa City area?
- An average of 5–7 percent of Iowa City Community School District students lack health insurance
- Lack of a primary care provider
- Transportation difficulties
- Inability to afford medications
- Limited or no access to mental health care due to cost, small number of providers, and small number of providers that accept Title XIX
- Limited or no access to dental care due to cost and small numbers of providers that accept Title XIX
Lack of access to Health Care was identified as a barrier to learning at the 2002 Iowa City Community School District’s Barriers to Learning Conference. Healthy children are optimal learners.
When children are ill and cannot get the health care they need, they have more school absences and difficulty learning, and they do not learn how to care for their own health. Parents struggle to find and pay for needed health care for their children.
A group of community health care providers and other concerned citizens has developed a program to help eliminate this barrier. The program is school-based health clinics, called Healthy Kids School-based Health Clinics.
Get Moving For Healthy Kids is an annual 5K run/walk to benefit the Health Kids school-based clinics and encourage active, healthy lifestyles for our Iowa City area children.
What services available are available?
- Well-child physicals and sports physicals
- Treatment of minor illness (i.e., ear infection, strep throat)
- X-rays (done at Corridor Radiology)
- Basic lab tests (i.e., throat cultures, urine tests)
- Complex lab tests
- Prescriptions for medications
- Health education and counseling
- Referral for complex medical conditions
- Referral for mental health services, including psychiatric and counseling services
- Assistance for families needing a healthcare provider in the community
- Assistance for families applying for Title XIX or hawk-i
What is the need in the Iowa City area?
The unmet health care needs of children in our community can be illustrated in a number of ways:
- Students receiving free/reduced-price lunches numbered 14 percent in 1995; the number is now 33 percent.
- Seven school buildings have more than 50 percent of their students receiving free/reduced-price lunch.
- Homeless students currently number more than 200.
About Health Kids Clinics
What are the Healthy Kids Clinics?
- Regular clinics at schools sites in the Iowa City Community School District that provide free medical, dental and mental health services serve children in the school district and their younger siblings, as well as children in other Johnson County school districts.
- The clinics are staffed by a clinic coordinator, pediatric nurse practitioner, pediatricians, and child psychiatrist. Dental services are provided at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry.
- Health care services are provided to families without access to affordable health care (such as no insurance or a high deductible) and those without a primary physician/health care provider.
Why school-based clinics?
- Schools are where students spend the majority of their day.
- Schools already have a relationship with students and families.
- Parents trust and have access to schools.
Help Make a Difference -- The vision of the Emerging Philanthropists Society of United Way of Johnson County and their $37.000 contribution launched a series of gifts and an initiative to care for Iowa City area school-aged children. In 2007, Mercy Iowa City announced five-year commitment of $500,000 to endow the Healthy Kids Community Care. United Way of Johnson County, Community Foundation of Johnson County and the Iowa City Community School District Foundation united to raise funds to establish school-based health clinics to serve all students with unmet medical needs.
Visit the Healthy Kids Community Care Clinic's website to learn more and watch our brief video to learn more.
Who are the Health Kids Community Care partners?
- Iowa City Community School District
- United Way of Johnson County
- Mercy Hospital
- University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
- University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
- University of Iowa College of Nursing
- University of Iowa College of Dentistry
- Corridor Radiology
- Free Medical Clinic
- Johnson County Public Health Department
- Visiting Nurses Association
- School Children’s Aid
- Community Foundation of Johnson County
- Alberhasky Eye Clinic
- Local pharmacies
Children with ongoing health issues that are not treated typically have poor school attendance and inability to stay focused and be engaged in learning when they are in school.