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TODAY news for Thursday, March 26, 2007

Loma Linda University news

SACHS receives $300,000 grant

SACHS-Norton setup for the �Good 2 Grow� program are Mary Jaquish, First 5 San Bernardino engagement specialist; Cynthia Rollins, fund development manager, SACHS; Nancy Young, SACHS executive director; and Richard H. Hart, MD, DrPH, president of SACHS.
Taking a tour of the SACHS-Norton setup for the “Good 2 Grow” program are (from left) Mary Jaquish, First 5 San Bernardino engagement specialist; Cynthia Rollins, fund development manager, SACHS; Nancy Young, SACHS executive director; and Richard H. Hart, MD, DrPH, chancellor of Loma Linda University and president of SACHS.
First 5 San Bernardino, established through the California Children and Families Act 1998 (Proposition 10), recently announced that it will fund a three-year program at the Social Action Community Health System (SACHS) headquarters, SACHS–Norton clinic, titled “Good 2 Grow: Total Toddler Check-Up.”

The program, which targets families with young children in the Inland Empire area who might not otherwise seek basic non-emergency medical services for their children, follows a four-step process, which begins with a physical exam, immunizations, vision and hearing checks, a visit with a SACHS family health consultant, “passport” stamp, and a gift. The Good 2 Grow (G2G) passports are given to each child who comes through the program, and a page is stamped each time a step is completed.

Step 2 includes a review of meals, education on nutrition and diet, another passport stamp, and a bus pass or gas gift card. Step 3 begins with a visit by a SACHS family health consultant, provision of a list of resources available to San Bernardino County residents, an appointment for a free cooking class and home visit, a G2G passport stamp, and another gift. Step 4 involves a dental/oral screening, development of a treatment plan, a G2G passport stamp, and a Stater Bros. gift card.

“We want to help children start out well,” explains Nancy Young, SACHS executive director, “and the G2G program will help establish a baseline of health for them.”

Says Richard H. Hart, MD, DrPH, chancellor of Loma Linda University and president of SACHS, “We established SACHS as a way to reach out to and serve local communities within a short drive of our campus who are suffering from a lack of health care services.” He continues, “The Good 2 Grow program provides an excellent opportunity to further our mission and impact the lives of children in our county as they grow and develop.”

“The goal of the First 5 initiative,” elaborates Mary Jaquish, First 5 San Bernardino community engagement specialist, “is to impact the health of children ages 0 to 5 in relation to their physical and mental development.” First 5 San Bernardino, which serves San Bernardino County, receives funding based on the current annual birthrate of approximately 28,000 births, totaling about $25 million. These funds are used to engage community-focused agencies in a partnership to serve young children and their families.

SACHS, headquartered in the SACHS–Norton clinic near the corner of E. Third Street and Tippecanoe in San Bernardino, was established by Loma Linda University to reach the medically underserved and uninsured in the area—the “working poor” who cannot afford private health insurance or who do not receive employer-provided health care benefits.

First 5 San Bernardino has contracted with more than 70 community agencies in an effort to improve the growth and development of children ages 0 to 5. In addition, the organization encourages community agencies to coordinate their efforts and resources to better meet the needs of the county’s children. Resources are also targeted to programs that assist pregnant mothers in caring for the health of their unborn children.

SACHS will receive the maximum amount awarded to community agencies of $100,000 per year over the next three years. The G2G program is a low-cost whole child health assessment with an array of incentives to help motivate families to follow through with all four steps.

For more information, or to schedule your child for a G2G appointment, please call the SACHS-Norton clinic at (909) 382-7100.

By Larry Kidder, MA

TODAY news for Thursday, March 26, 2007