SONOMA COUNTY: Network Provides Health Care to Needy Kids
The Children's Health Network (CHN), a Sonoma County Medical Association program providing free medical care for children of uninsured families, has expanded its services to all 36 elementary schools in Santa Rosa, the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, reports. The program, which began 18 months ago, consists of a group of school nurses, administrators, doctors and pharmacies that provides a limited range of medical care to uninsured children. The program relies on school nurses to identify problems, school secretaries to spot absence patterns, doctors who are willing to provide up to 12 visits a month, and four pharmacies that fill prescriptions for free. In addition, Radiology at Warrack Hospital waives testing fees, and both Warrack and Memorial have agreed to provide hospitalization. The network also educates families about increasing their health coverage under programs such as Medi-Cal. Nancy Brown, the program's co-manager, said that the program aims to encompass all of the Sonoma County schools in the next five years. Irma Wise, a grateful mother of a CHN asthma patient, noted "now, my son has regular medicine, inhalers and regular doctors visits. I can't tell you what a difference it has made for him" (Rose, 12/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.