Mile Square Englewood will offer integrated services to children, families

The University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System’s Mile Square Health Center will partner with Metropolitan Family Services to provide integrated primary care and mental health services to children and their families in the greater Englewood area.

Mile Square Health Center at Englewood

Mile Square Health Center at Englewood

The effort will be supported by a $2 million, five-year grant from the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation to Metropolitan Family Services.

“This partnership will bring together primary care staff from Mile Square with psychiatrists, social workers and psychologists from Metropolitan Family Services in a single location at the Mile Square Health Center in Englewood” said Henry Taylor, executive director of Mile Square Health Center.

“This integrated model of care will eliminate the need for families to schedule appointments with mental health specialists at other locations. They can get treated right here in their own neighborhood,” said Taylor. “Children seen by primary care physicians at Mile Square who are identified as having mental health needs will be referred to psychologists, behavioral health specialists or social workers from Metropolitan Family Services who will be located right on site at the Mile Square Health Center in Englewood.”

The grant from Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation is part of their Healthy Minds, Healthy Children, Healthy Chicago initiative in high risk neighborhoods. The initiative aims to blend primary healthcare services with mental health services to help children and their families through a team-based approach to prevention and early intervention.

Early intervention for children with mental health needs is crucial. According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for people who experience mental illness at any point in their lifetimes, half begin before age 14, and 13 to 20 percent of children living in the United States experience a mental disorder in a given year.

Mile Square is a federally qualified health center managed by the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System and dedicated to providing high quality, cost-effective, accessible and holistic healthcare that meets the needs of the community.

The Mile Square enterprise sees an estimated 65,000 patient visits for more than 22,000 people, many with incomes below the federal poverty level.  The Mile Square network is comprised of 5 clinics in the South Shore, Back of the Yards, Englewood and Cicero areas, as well as four school-based health centers and three UIC College of Nursing clinics that provide primary care for patients with chronic mental illness. Mile Square will open a new facility at Roosevelt Road and Wood Street in 2014.

The Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation is the only statewide private foundation focused on improving the health of all children in Illinois. Since its inception in 2008, a total of more than $53 million in grants have been invested in more than 280 programs to improve Illinois children’s health.

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