Kalispell,
13
June
2022
|
12:41 PM
America/Denver

Generous donation fuels enhanced access to school-based healthcare

$500,000 gift from the Broussard Family Trust to the Logan Health Foundation helps fund new mobile health clinic

LoganHealth_SBHC Mobile Unit mockup

Thanks to a $500,000 gift from the Broussard Family Trust to the Logan Health Foundation, school-based health care will now be mobile, enhancing access to care for Montana’s students. The donation funds the development of a new school-based health center mobile unit to serve rural students, faculty and staff.

“The family has always had a vested interest in the education, health and well-being of our community members and others,” says Jerome Broussard on behalf of the Broussard Family Trust. “This wonderful outreach opportunity will influence the mental and physical needs of our rural schools. We hope others will join us in making a difference.”

School-based health centers work to improve the physical and mental health of both students and staff, increase access to health care and decrease time lost from school by providing health care in the school. They work closely with the school’s nurses, administrators, coaches and teachers to meet the unique needs of their school and community.  Similar to primary care offices the clinics provide preventive, acute, chronic and mental health care. However, the service is not meant to replace a family’s primary care provider. Instead the service compliments the services your family doctor provides and to help those who do not have a primary care provider.

Logan Health first launched the school-based health program more than 6 years ago with clinics at schools in Eureka and Columbia Falls. Since that time, the program has grown to serve more than 4,000 students, faculty and staff in five school districts and 10 schools. The addition of the new mobile clinic will expand services to nearly 4,000 more students, faculty and staff at other rural schools in Montana.

“We believe that strong public schools are the foundation of our community, and students thrive when they are at their healthiest,” says Brittany Coburn, Nurse Practitioner for the Logan Health School-Based Health program, “Our goal is to improve the health of faculty and staff, but many rural schools do not have school nurses or a space to provide care.  With a mobile health clinic, we can expand our reach even further, positively impacting the health of rural students.”

Coburn further explained that many rural students are economically disadvantaged, living at or below the poverty level. In addition, some rural families drive far distances to access healthcare. With healthcare services on their school’s campus, students have immediate access to care, and the amount of time away from work is reduced for parents.  Program leaders envision this innovative approach to spark further growth of the school-based healthcare program, with additional mobile units in the future.

Construction of the mobile clinic is underway with NomadGCS, a local manufacturer of mobile medical and health care vehicles. It is expected to be completed by fall 2023.

“We are deeply grateful for the Broussard family for their generous donation, making this initiative possible for families in the valley,” says Joe McClafferty, Logan Health Foundation President. “Their support will impact the health and improve the lives of families and students for years to come.”   

There is $133,500 still needed to fully outfit the mobile health unit. The Logan Health Foundation has applied to the Whitefish Community Foundation’s Great Fish Community Challenge. If accepted into the Challenge, the public will be able to help support this important initiative beginning August 4, 2022.

About Logan Health

Logan Health is a nonprofit, 578-bed health system located in the iconic Flathead Valley of northwest Montana. While the main medical campus is located in Flathead County, Logan Health draws from a total service area covering 13 counties, nearly 40,000 square miles and a population of more than 600,000. The health system consists of five hospitals, more than 50 provider clinics and a host of other health care services, including the nation’s first rural air ambulance service (A.L.E.R.T.), which it has maintained for more than 40 years. Nearly 4,500 physicians, nurses, health care professionals and support staff work together to provide patients and their families with a positive, proactive, patient-centered experience. Founded in 1910, Logan Health has provided exceptional care for more than 100 years to the communities it serves. Throughout its history, the organization has continued to grow and evolve with the growth and changing needs of the communities it serves.