Horizon, Midtown and Rainbow will be the first elementary schools in Madison to receive visits from HEALS Inc.’s mobile unit. CONTRIBUTED

HEALS Inc’s new mobile unit to offer medical care to Madison

MADISON – Madison City Schools has entered a partnership that will offer medical care to in-need students.

MCS and HEALS Inc., which represents Health Establishments at Local Schools, have reached an agreement that will allow students to receive a range of medical services and dental care. A child’s parent must consent to treatment from HEALS.

In Madison City Schools, the health services will start at Horizon, Midtown and Rainbow elementary schools.

HEALS officials can relay its medical care with a mobile clinic that will travel to various schools during the academic year, to rural parts of Madison County and to lower-income neighborhoods. The mobile clinic will make comprehensive health services accessible to those individuals who need it most.

Community partners secured funds for the state-of-the-art mobile clinic. These partners include Frank and Colleen Williams, Madison County Commission, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Top of Alabama Regional Council of Governments or TARCOG. The partners’ outreach will further enhance HEALS’ ability to reach students.

When HEALS receives the mobile clinic, agency personnel will schedule medical and dental clinic days based on immediate need. Annually, the mobile clinic is expected to expedite a minimum of 450 medical visits and 550 dental visits for children living at or below the poverty level.

The mobile clinic will offer several medical services to Madison County children:

* Wellness exams.

* Immunizations.

* Acute care for illnesses and injuries.

* Lab work.

* Education for and management of chronic diseases, such as asthma, diabetes and sickle cell anemia.

* Vision screenings.

Students can benefit from dental services that HEALS offers:

* Comprehensive dental exams and cleanings.

* Fluoride treatments and sealants.

* Restorative work.

* Orthodontic screenings.

* Dental screenings and education for healthy teeth.

HEALS workers recognize that transportation can be a significant barrier to accessing care for many children. The mobile clinic will eliminate this obstacle and allow efforts to improve children’s health.

Incorporated in October 1998, HEALS was a pioneer in introducing the concept of school-based health clinics to Huntsville and Madison County.

HEALS’ first clinic opened in January 1999 and provided health care to all Lincoln Elementary School students and their families. A second HEALS clinic opened at Terry Heights Elementary School in August 2001.

In January 2002, a kindergartner at West Huntsville Elementary School died from meningitis that was not diagnosed. West Huntsville Principal Barbara Johnson asked HEALS for a clinic there, which opened as the third medical clinic in December 2003.

For more information, call 256-428-7560, email healsinc@healsinc.org or visit healsinc.org.

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