DANVILLE – A nonprofit health clinic organization based in southern Illinois plans to start serving Danville next year.
SIHF Healthcare, a Sauget-based operator of 32 federally licensed health centers in central and southern Illinois, including one in Arthur, on Friday announced plans to begin offering health services to the high school in Danville and eventually build his own school in Danville.
SIHF Healthcare plans to address a need for primary care, mental health and addiction issues, and potentially dental care for those unable to access these services, according to President and CEO Larry McCulley.
The organization initially plans to offer services to high school students and connect young students from other schools to care through outreach and telehealth, he said.
SIHF is looking for properties to build a facility, but does not yet have a schedule for its construction, McCulley said.
The SIHF was approached a year and a half ago by Step Up Vermilion County, he said. Step Up is a local group of local residents, businesses, law enforcement, churches, service providers and others interested in improving Vermilion County, according to its founder and president Deanna. Witzel.
The group has been meeting for over four years and has three working groups focused on addiction, mental health, parenting and family issues, said Witzel, who also owns / operates McDonald’s restaurants in Vermilion County. .
Witzel said it had become clear that access to mental health and addiction care were major issues for the county and also major issues affecting families.
SIHF has a holistic health mission to provide access to care regardless of patients’ ability to pay, the organization says on its website. It offers a range of primary care, dental and behavioral health services across its network, with many locations offering all of these services on one site.
The organization plans to work with other service providers in Vermilion County and has identified a space at Danville High School near the cafeteria to begin offering services there, McCully said. He hopes the high school health center site will be opened in the first semester of next year, he said.
With the new facility to be built across the road, McCully said, one of the goals would be to remove a barrier to care – available transportation – to deliver health services to low-income residents of east Danville.