outreach program wins award
St. Mary's and Clearwater Valley Hospitals were awarded the Benedictine Health System’s Spirit Award for Community Focus for the Children’s Health Insurance Program Outreach Program. The award was presented to Casey Meza, CEO, at their recent Trustee Leadership Conference in Minneapolis.
Both hospitals are members of the Benedictine Health System which administers and/or owns 10 acute care hospitals and 50 long term and acute care facilities in nine states.
CHIP is a Medicaid program that provides free or low cost health insurance for children in middle to low income families. Under current income guidelines a family of four can earn approximately $37,000 to qualify. If a child is eligible for the school’s free or reduced lunch program, he or she may qualify for CHIP.
The hospitals’ outreach program included enrollment trainings for social service agency personnel in three communities; providing enrollment forms and assistance at the CVHC and SMHC facilities; conducting an informational press conference and providing articles and ads to newspapers and radio stations; working with dietary managers in six local school districts to provide CHIP information; attending back-to-school functions; partnering with the Covering Kids and Families in Idaho Coalition, the Community Action Agencies and the Department of Health and Welfare to publicize the program throughout the state and region.
As of August over 121,000 kids, statewide, are enrolled in the Idaho Medicaid Program.
“We are honored to receive the award because we’ve worked hard to make sure that parents don’t need to worry about whether or not they can afford to bring their kids to the doctor,” said Meza. “Those kinds of decisions need to be based on need rather than finances. It’s a tremendous burden off a parent’s shoulders to know their kids are covered.”
The program coverage includes doctor visits, prescription medication, ER visits, eye exams and glasses. For more information call the Idaho Careline, 2-1-1; St. Mary's Hospital, 962-3251 or Clearwater Valley Hospital, 476-4555.