April is National Minority Health Month
Imagine you are sick, or your child is sick. You go to the doctor, but you are not able to communicate with him to tell him what is wrong, and you can’t understand what he is saying. This is the reality for many Spanish-speakers in the United States. April is National Minority Health Month, a time to learn more about the health status of minority populations. Shawnee Health Care strives to improve the health status of our local Hispanic population through our Farmworker Health Program.
Through our Farmworker Health Program, both Migrant and Seasonal farmworkers are able to access medical, dental, mental health, nutrition counseling, pharmacy and social services. Also, a team of bilingual, bicultural outreach workers are professionally trained to provide medical interpreting in Spanish at Shawnee Health Care, as well as case management, health education, outreach, and help with transportation arrangements.
Karla Grathler, the Program Coordinator, says that while diabetes, hypertension, dental, and skin conditions are all prevalent health problems within this population, one of the biggest health care-related problems she and her team see is the lack of understanding of preventative health care.
“We try to raise awareness of how crucial it is to stay involved in their health care, to get their annual screenings, and to bring their kids to their annual check-ups. Our providers are looking at your overall health, and that’s how you improve your lifestyle and your quality of life.”
Karla and her team say that education is one of the most important things that they do. Maria Arellano, Interpreter/Outreach Worker, says that every time a patient comes in, she tries to give them different health education resources tailored to their healthcare needs. “For example, if they are diabetic, we have resources on how it affects your eyesight down to your toes,” says Maria.
Although medical interpretation and education are important parts of this team’s job, this only scratches the surface of what they do. These women truly advocate for their patients. Karla says, “Our staff are interpreters, but we go beyond that. We wear so many hats. We do outreach, we do medical interpretation, we do transportation, we do case management—patients feel like we can take care of them.” They have this reputation in the community; patients travel from Chester, Red Bud, and Cape Girardeau for their services.
They notice patients feel more confident at their appointments when an interpreter is present. Karla says, “It’s very interesting to see the demeanor of the patients when they do not speak the language of the provider. You think, ‘Oh they’re very shy. They don’t speak. They’re very quiet,’ but I have learned in my experience that this is not always the case. When we put the patient with an interpreter, they start asking questions. They become a different person. Once they hear their native language, they feel, ‘Oh, I can now express myself how I want.’”
These women provide an invaluable service to Spanish-speakers in southern Illinois. Thank you, Karla Grathler, Maria Arellano, Rita Elibey Basillo, Maribel Paleo-Medina, and Nataly Gomez, for your hard work, dedication, and service to our Spanish-speaking patients.
Attention HFS Medicaid and All Kids Insurance Holders:
You may have received an enrollment packet asking you to select from 1 of 5 health plans. If you did not enroll, then you were likely auto-assigned to a plan. You are allowed to switch plans one time between April 1, 2018 and June 30, 2018.
Shawnee Health Care is contracted with all 5 plans.
Please be aware that many local hospitals and specialists, including Southern Illinois Healthcare (SIH) will no longer be accepting Harmony Health.
You can enroll in or switch plans:
Online at https://enrollhfs.illinois.gov/
Or by phone at 1-877-912-8880
If you need assistance completing this process, please call Shawnee Health Service at (618) 519-9200 to schedule an appointment with one of our Outreach & Enrollment Specialists. There is no cost for this service.
Please note that staff at local Illinois DHS offices cannot assist with enrolling or switching plans.
*Please note that our staff cannot make recommendations on which plan to select; they can only assist you with completing the enrollment process through Illinois’ Client Enrollment Services.
From WSIL — In this Week’s Unsung Hero, leaders at Shawnee Health Care-Carterville Family Practice are praising one of their case managers for going above and beyond his duties.
There’s not one patient case manager Bryan Heine doesn’t give his all to help.
“If we are not able to get the answer, we try to find the answer for patients,” said Bryan.
In fact, he’s called a “miracle worker” by colleague and nurse practitioner, Laura Castillo.
“I think that he goes above and beyond his job title every day,” said Laura.
Bryan has been in the field for 16 years and working for Shawnee Health Service for the past 2 years.
“He has just kind of turned this clinic around in the amount that they utilize their case manager,” said co-worker Sarah Miller.
On a daily basis, Bryan assists patients with a number of resources like insurance, setting up transportation and making referrals. Finding answers is not always easy, especially if a patient can’t afford proper care.
“With rural health, there is such a lack of resources and utilizing case management. It is just essential and Bryan is just so eager to help in any way that he can,” said Laura.
According to Miller, it’s the extra effort he puts in for patients that makes him rare. Sarah says he does more than the job requires. He’s even driven patients to appointments they can’t get to.
“Bryan rarely takes no for an answer. He leaves no stone unturned, does everything, he can to help out his patients,” said Sarah.
Bryan says his parents taught him to put others first, by giving hope. He says he doesn’t feel like he’s doing anything extra-special and is just doing what he was taught to do.
“All of this is helping others. I mean, that’s really, at the end of the day, what it’s about,” added Bryan.
Shawnee Health Care, Terrier Care has launched the Air Quality Flag Program at Carbondale Community High School. The Flag program uses brightly colored flags based on the U.S. EPA’s Air Quality Index (AQI) to notify people and their communities about outdoor air quality conditions. Students will raise a flag each day that corresponds to their local air quality forecast.
The Air Quality Flag Program creates awareness of outdoor air quality conditions. This helps students, faculty, and staff who suffer from asthma, respiratory issues, or heart disease better prepare for air pollution that can make symptoms worse or trigger attacks. The Program also helps faculty and staff plan daily activities that protect the health of students with these conditions.
Shawnee Health Care plans to launch the Air Quality Flag Program at Marion High School, where we operate Marion Wellness School Health Center, soon.
For more information about the Air Quality Flag Program, visit www.airnow.gov/flag.
Shawnee Health Service Celebrates Black History Month
The month of February is dedicated to an important minority group in the United States. That group is African Americans. During Black History Month, we celebrate the achievements of African Americans, and recognize the invaluable contributions and influence of African Americans in the United States. At Shawnee Health Service, we especially celebrate the achievements and contributions of African Americans to health care and to the Community Health Center Movement.
The Community Health Center Movement has often times been connected with the Civil Rights Movement. Important visionaries in community health were/are African Americans, and it’s important to recognize their achievements.
Millions of Americans in the 1960’s lacked access to basic healthcare, not only in impoverished inner-city neighborhoods, but also in the rural neighborhoods we are more accustomed to in southern Illinois. Civil Rights activists like H. Jack Geiger and Count Gibson founded America’s first community health centers, and now over 50 years later, health centers like Shawnee Health Service and 9,000 other sites in the United States serve over 24 million patients.
To the pioneers who have focused on community health, we say thank you.
During this observance, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (OMH) raises awareness of health disparities, particularly in heart health and childhood obesity. OMH also provides a platform for national, state and local health organizations to discuss challenges and opportunities for the African American community, with the goal of decreasing health disparities and improving health outcomes.
This month, Shawnee Health Service will share statistics and resources to our social media pages with the goal of helping to reduce disparities and promote better health for African Americans.
H. Jack Geiger and Count D. Gibson, Jr.
It’s a hard truth that the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs has spread nationwide. The problem has risen so high that the CDC has even characterized prescription drug overdose as a public health epidemic. Shawnee Health Service is proud to announce the launch of a Drug and Alcohol Awareness and Prevention media campaign. This campaign will support activities related to prevention, screening, and treatment of patients with mental health and substance abuse disorders.
The goals of the campaign are to:
- Increase awareness that opioids can be addictive and dangerous
- Decrease the number of individuals who try opioids for recreational purposes
- Increase the number of individuals who choose options other than opioids for safe and effective pain management
Prevention activities will focus on drug prevention for young people in cooperation with our two school health centers, Terrier Care and Marion Wellness. Staff will educate students about the harmful and addictive effects of recreational opioid use. We will also provide training and education to teachers and parents on identifying risk factors and signs of adolescent drug and alcohol use.
To support these efforts, Shawnee Health Service will share educational posters, flyers, factsheets, and other resources designed to educate the public about prescription drug misuse and abuse. We will share these resources through the Shawnee Health Service, Terrier Care, Marion Wellness Facebook pages.
This campaign is supported by Access Increases in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (AIMS) supplemental funding. Other activities supported by this grant include purchase of 3 drug take-back kiosks, creation of educational packets for patients and community members, and other outreach and prevention efforts. Be sure to check our Facebook page for updates on our outreach efforts in the community.
If you have any questions or are interested in bringing one of our trainings to your organization, contact email@example.com.
If you are Medicaid beneficiary, you may have begun receiving notices from Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), leaving you with many questions:
What is Medicaid Managed Care?
- Managed Care is like private insurance for those on Medicaid. Rather than the state of Illinois paying providers directly, it pays insurance companies to coordinate your care, and the insurance companies then pay for the services you receive
I currently have Illinois Health Connect and received a notice that it is ending December 31, 2017. What do I need to do?
- Right now you do not need to do anything. The state will continue to pay your providers directly until April 1, 2018.
- Between mid-January through mid-February, you will receive an enrollment packet from HFS telling you to select a Managed Care plan.
- You will have 30 days to enroll in a plan. If you do not select a plan before your deadline you will be auto-enrolled into a plan
How will I know which plan to pick?
- Assistance is available to help you with the process. The organizations listed below provide free enrollment assistance to all members of the community. You do not need to be a patient to receive this service.
- Shawnee Health Service – (618 )519-9200
- Christopher Rural Health – (800) 408-7351
- Rural Health, Inc. – (618) 833-4471
What information should I bring when receiving enrollment assistance?
- Names of all providers for all household members
- List of current medications
HFS also has a Medicaid Managed Care in Illinois Frequently Asked Questions page: https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/MedicalClients/ManagedCare/Pages/ManagedCareFAQ.aspx
If you have any more questions about Medicaid Managed Care, you may contact Shawnee Health Service’s Outreach and Enrollment team by calling (618) 519-9200 or (844) 331-3069.
Is your future child or newborn a Future Saluki? Register for a chance for your child to be the Shawnee Health Care Future Saluki of the Game! You will win a custom Future Saluki onesie and be recognized during a Saluki basketball game this year. Individuals will be selected to be recognized at each home Saluki Men’s Basketball game.
If basketball isn’t your thing but you still would like to support Saluki Athletics and get the custom onesie, simply submit a photo of your baby or your family to be displayed on the jumbotron.
To register, visit any Shawnee Health Care location, or send an email with the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org:
Name of “Future Saluki”
Full Name of Parent or Guardian (1) and Relationship to “Future Saluki”
Full Name of Parent or Guardian (2) and Relationship to “Future Saluki”
City or Town of Residence
Best way to reach you if you are selected.
Note: Only pre-born to one-year-old patients of Shawnee Health Care may enter.
Flu season is in full swing, and the best way to protect yourself (and others) from getting sick is by getting a flu vaccination. Wondering if you and your family members should get a flu vaccine this year? Here are eight good reasons:
1. The flu vaccine is the best way to avoid the flu.
The flu is very contagious. It can easily spread for one person to another.
2. Health officials recommend it.
Flu vaccines are recommended for everyone over 6 months of age. It comes as a shot or as a nasal spray. The nasal spray vaccine is an option for healthy people ages 2 to 49.
3. The flu can be serious.
The flu comes on suddenly. It can cause a high fever, headache, and extreme tiredness. It can be especially dangerous for pregnant women, children and teens, older adults, and people with certain medical conditions.
4. You’ll protect yourself and others too.
Complications from the flu can lead to hospitalization. In the United States, about 36,000 people die from the flu every year.
5. Getting the flu can disrupt your life.
A flu vaccine may help you avoid missing work or school. You won’t have to miss any fun social events either!
6. The flu vaccine is low cost and easy to get.
You can get vaccinated through any Shawnee Health Care health center.
7. You only need it once a year.
October or November is the best time to get a flu vaccine, but you can get it later than the year as well. You should get a new seasonal flu vaccine every year.
8. It is safe for most people.
You cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine. Most people have no side effects or only have very mild body aches. (However, you should not get a flu vaccine if you currently have a fever. Wait until you are well. Also, do not get a flu vaccine if you have had a reaction to a previous flu vaccine or to eggs, or if you have Guillain-Barré syndrome).
What else can you do to avoid the flu?
1. Wash your hands often. Use plenty of soap and water and wash for 20 seconds.
2. When coughing or sneezing, use a tissue and throw it away, then wash your hands.
3. Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
4. Teach children when and how to wash their hands, as well.
5. If possible, avoid being around people who are sick.
6. Exercise, eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress may also lower your chance of getting the flu.
To schedule an appointment for you or your child to receive the flu vaccine, call (618) 519-9200.
Open Enrollment is the period when people can enroll in a health insurance plan. This year, the Open Enrollment Period for Medicare runs from October 15, 2017 to December 7, 2017. The Open Enrollment Period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace for 2018 runs from November 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017.
When you decide how to get your Medicare coverage, you might choose a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) and/or Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D). There are specific times when you can sign up for these plans, or make changes to coverage you already have. You don’t need to sign up for Medicare each year. However, each year you’ll have a chance to review your coverage and change plans.
If you don’t have health insurance through a job, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or another source that provides qualifying health coverage, the Marketplace can help you get covered. Starting November 1, you can log in to HealthCare.gov, fill out an application, and enroll in a 2018 Marketplace health plan.
Shawnee Health Service wants to help you get covered!
Our Navigators can help you go through the online system as well as answer questions you might have about the Marketplace. While online you will be able to compare insurance options and find out if you might be eligible, based on your income, for financial assistance to lower your costs.
Navigators can help you understand things like Essential Health Benefits and how these will help improve your health. Navigators are available during clinic hours and special event times. You do not need to be a patient of Shawnee Health Service to receive assistance at no cost!
For assistance, please call: (844) 331-3069.