New partnership to help provide healthcare to McDonald County children

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NEOSHO, Mo. — A new partnership among the McDonald County School District, Ozark Center, and Freeman Neosho Hospital will help connect area children to health care.

Joy Hardridge, Assistant Superintendent, McDonald County Schools, said, “Children will be able to be served in the school, they won’t even have to leave the campus. They can go do a Tele-health visit with a health provider and return right to classroom.”

A $100,000 grant given to Freeman Neosho Hospital will help the McDonald County School District keep kids healthy.

The tele-health planning grant will help connect students to mental and medical health professionals right at school.

“It’s been very hard to keep services staffed. So, often parents would have to drive to Joplin to take their child so that”s going to be about an hour drive.”

In these planning stages, Freeman Neosho will help design a system that covers student needs.

Renee Denton, Chief Operating Officer, Freeman Neosho Hospital, said, “The focus of this one year planning grant is care coordination amongst the partners, so that we can develop the groundwork for a very robust network focused on healthcare delivery for medical health and mental health.”

The main goal here is to create more awareness for personal health as well as better health outcomes for the community as a whole.

“And so to have this service in the school district and to be able to impact, again utilizing one of our partners, Ozark Center, and being able to impact the mental health of students is equally as important as taking care of their medical health.”

They hope to get the project off the ground in 2021.

This grant was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The hospital is also working another grant to help create a network of mental and medical healthcare resources in Rocky Comfort.

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