|.||Donald Cantley, MD, FAAP
CATCH Planning Grant: Henderson County, Kentucky
Ten years ago Dr. Donald Cantley from Kentucky was awarded a CATCH Planning grant from the AAP. These grants were introduced and promoted to improve access to health care for children with no health insurance. Since 1994, he and his staff have seen 8,393 children as part of this project. The children have been from families who have inadequate health coverage or they cannot access the mainstream of care because of fragmented or single parent families. No bills are given or sent to the parents. All immunizations are referred to the health department. Cost of medications, when needed, come from a special fund created to help parents pay for medication.
Also ten years ago, the United Way (UW) of America was completing an evaluation of a questionnaire mailed to 5,000 families in Western Kentucky. The question was: What is the major health problem for children in your area? The results of the UW survey indicated that the major problem for Henderson County was the accessibility and affordability of health care. These results together with the funding from the AAP CATCH Planning grant created an ideal opportunity to develop a meaningful health program for less fortunate children. The Regional Methodist Hospital of Henderson, a non-profit organization, pledged to support development of this program. One year was devoted to organizing and developing a program which would survive and have an impact on the physical and mental health of children.
Today, Dr. Cantley's CATCH Program functions through the school system in Henderson County, Kentucky (population of 50,000). Total school enrollment is 6,700. The Program has clinics in six elementary schools, high school, the Salvation Army and Federal Housing Project. There is a nurse and a psychologist in each school. The community and the practicing pediatricians have embraced the program.