Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 21, 2018

Thousands of dollars of grant money lost if HHCC can’t spend it by July 1

Transition to county from HCHC means first year of HRSA grant can’t rollover into next fiscal year
Jun 13, 2018
Photo by: Karyn Spory Public Health will become a county department, moving to 106 N. Jackson Street, Suite 101 by July 1. The transition also means the HHCC Coordinator will sit on the Public Health board and the $1 million HRSA grant, given to HHCC, needs to be switched from fiscal agent Henry County Health Center to the county.

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News


Healthy Henry County Communities is scrambling to spend around $50,000 of grant money by July 1 or lose it.

The $1 million HRSA grant is to be spent over three years, but the first year of funding is not able to be transferred from Henry County Health Center to the county once Public Health and HHCC become county departments.

“We are trying to find ways to use the money that will best benefit for the next two years of the grant,” HHCC Coordinator Kelly Carr said during a Board of Health meeting on Tuesday, June 12.

HHCC is in the process of transferring the grant fiscal agent from HCHC to the county but working with the Federal Government to transfer the grant is not a fast or easy process, Carr said.

While a big chunk of the money is slated for software for HHCC’s new Care Coordination program, Carr suggested to the Board of Health that they enter into another contract with Seibus to provide free medical transportation for another two years.

HHCC previously held an agreement with Southeast Iowa Regional Planning through another grant to offer free Seibus transportation for $20,000 a year for two years. If SEIRP agrees to enter into that contract again, Public Health would enter into that agreement with them instead of HHCC since the HHCC Coordinator will sit on the Board of Health under county operations.

The first two-year contract specified that anyone calling Seibus for transportation for a medical appointment, whether it be to see an optometrist, dentist, family doctor or mental health professional, would not be charged.

The agreement not only benefited Henry County residents seeking health care but increased the usage and awareness of Seibus. “While numbers did drop when the free medical transportation ended, it was still higher than before so it was successful in educating the public,” Carr said.

“It was definitely a benefit to the community. The numbers show it,” Public Health Director Shelley Van Dorin said.

The Board of Health gave Carr the go-ahead to try to enter into an agreement with SEIRP to prepay for Seibus up to $40,000 over a two-year period. The agreement has to be finalized before July 1. A big part of the HRSA grant is increasing public awareness of existing resources and services, which Seibus fits into, Carr said.

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