GRANITE CITY — Chestnut Health Systems will be delivering primary medical services at a new health center in Granite City thanks to a $1.1 million U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant.
Chestnut, a provider of behavioral health services throughout the Metro East, will use the funding to create a “medical home” for Madison County residents of all ages. The funding is designed to ensure medical services for patients with lower incomes, Medicaid and Medicare. Ten new employees are expected to be hired to staff the health center in the coming months.
“Many residents of the community who seek help at Chestnut for problems related to relationships, addiction or other life stressors haven’t been able to appropriately address their medical needs,” said Dietra Kulicke, director of the Chestnut Family Health Center. “Often, they get no care or utilize expensive and overburdened emergency departments at our local hospitals. The new health center will provide support and care for their medical needs, just as Chestnut has long helped people address their emotional and mental health issues.”
“Across Illinois, many communities lack critical access to community health centers and important mental health services,” U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) said. “With this funding, made available through the Affordable Care Act, Chestnut Health Systems will be better equipped to expand, test and apply innovative ways of delivering primary and behavioral health services to Metro East residents.”
The health center is dedicated to preventative medicine and will provide full primary care services such as wellness, physical and gynecological exams, immunization updates and cancer screenings. The center also will provide treatment and management of chronic diseases, common infections, allergies, and sprains and strains. Some laboratory services also will be offered.
The Granite City facility will be Chestnut’s second family medical center. The first site, in Bloomington, has served more than 4,000 unduplicated patients in the last three years.
“The growth in patients served, available services, funding and staff has been both strategic and rapid,” Chestnut Health Systems CEO Russell Hagen said. “It is anticipated that CFHC will continue to grow on this rapid growth schedule for several more years with the new Granite City facility following suit.”