Cherokee Regional Medical Center Friday, Mar 24, 2023

Cherokee County Public Health Receives Grant Funding to Lead Area Child and Adolescent Health Efforts

Multi-year grant from Iowa HHS to serve as catalyst for the program

Late last year, Cherokee County Public Health was notified that they would be awarded funding in the amount of $279,273 from the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services to take on the lead role of providing Child and Adolescent Health (CAH) and oral health services for 10 northwest Iowa counties. Since finalizing the details and signing contracts with the state in January, the Cherokee County Public Health Department has been busy ramping up for these services.

“We were excited to receive this funding and to be selected as the lead agency to spearhead these efforts to provide much needed health care services to children within the 10 county region covered under this grant,” said Kayla Mayer, Cherokee County Public Health Manager. Counties in the service region include Sioux, Lyon, Plymouth, O’Brien, Cherokee, Dickinson, Palo Alto, Emmet, Osceola, and Clay.

The Child & Adolescent Health (CAH) program promotes the development of the systems of care, for children and adolescents from birth through age 21 years and their families.  The purpose is to provide quality medical and dental homes providing services that are family-centered, community-based, collaborative, comprehensive, coordinated, culturally competent, and developmentally appropriate.

According to Mayer, child and adolescent health and oral health services are a definite need for the children in many northwest Iowa communities. With some of the developments over the past year as to how these services would be offered, Mayer felt it was important for Cherokee Public Health to do their part and embraced the opportunity to make sure these services would continue within Cherokee and the other nine counties in the service region.

Cherokee County Board of Health member, Dr. Cassady Rider, agrees, “Dental services are a huge need in our community just in Cherokee County alone, and without these services the gap in dental care would only continue to grow. We are looking forward to this great opportunity that has been provided to the Cherokee County Public Health department and having the leadership be within our community.”

In addition, the CAH program seeks to help improve the health of our region’s younger population through initiatives to increase the number of children (especially preschool children) appropriately immunized against disease and the number of low income children receiving health assessments, follow-up diagnostic, and treatment services. Cherokee County Public Health will also look to provide and promote family-centered, community-based, coordinated care for children with special health care needs (CSHCN) and to facilitate the development of community-based systems of services for such children and their families.

To provide this diverse array of services effectively, it will definitely take a combined effort. “We are thankful for the collaboration that has been in the works for months with local public health departments across the service area and with Mid-Sioux Opportunity. We have reached out to each surrounding county for support in various ways with great success. We are excited to provide these services to our community and impact our surrounding communities as well through this grant,” said Mayer.

To help cover the service needs, Mayer has been busy recruiting over the past couple of months to handle the staffing needs to adequately provide the services encompassed by the program. In all, seven additional positions have been added to the Cherokee County Public Health office per the guidelines of the CAH grant. “We have had great success recruiting a variety health care professionals to help coordinate and administer these services. They are all very passionate and committed to helping the children and adolescents of our region,” claims Mayer.

To learn more about the services provided by Cherokee County Public Health through the CAH program, please feel free to contact Kayla Mayer by calling 712.225.2129, or visit the Cherokee County Public Health Facebook page for updates. If you have specific questions in regards to your child’s oral health, please contact Dawn Ericson, I-Smile Coordinator at 712.229.2181.