Kids’ groups get boost

By Solja Nygard Frangos

RALEIGH, N.C. — Wake Teen Medical Services is getting a $32,000 shot in the arm, thanks to the John Rex Endowment.

“Our goal is to provide access to health care and, thanks to this grant, we will be better equipped to do that,” says Joyce Wood, executive director of Wake Teen Medical Services.

The two-year grant is one of four totaling $1.4 million that the foundation is making to help improve the health of low-income youngsters in Wake County.

Formed through the 2000 merger of UNC Hospitals and Rex Healthcare and focusing on improving access to health care, the $75 million-asset foundation now has handed out $3.2 million.

The foundation also is giving $70,000 to Communities in Schools of Wake County to support health awareness, screenings and care at the Heritage Park community learning center for children living in public housing. The project could expand to other locations.

Wake County Human Services is getting $705,000 to create “family outreach and resource” teams that will visit families in southern and eastern Wake whose children are most at risk of poor health and academic problems.

And WakeMed is getting $633,000 to support a comprehensive pediatric diabetes program targeting low-income children and their families.

For Wake Teen Medical Services, the grant means being able to serve its customers better, says Wood.

The group’s clinic on Oberlin Road in Raleigh opened in 1983 and provides health care for patients ages 10 to 23, most of whom are poor and not insured.

“We serve kids who are too old to go to the baby doctor but might not have access to any other health care professional,” Wood says.

With fees based on a family’s income level, the community-based clinic aims to provide care for those “who might otherwise have no access to health care,” she says.

“But we also have to deal with laboratory and prescription medicine costs, and there is not enough money to cover those expenses,” she says. “This grant will help with needed diagnostic labs and medicine costs.”

Leave a Response

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.