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Grant will allow Saint Francis Healthcare to expand mobile services

The current St. Clare Medical Outreach Van.

WILMINGTON — A grant from New Castle County to Saint Francis Healthcare will allow Saint Francis to expand the services available to vulnerable population from the St. Clare Medical Outreach Van. The Health Equity Grant for $895,000 will allow programs such as those for the home-bound elderly, the food-insecure and the homeless to grow, according to Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic, parent company of Saint Francis Healthcare.

“Services will include backpack meals for children, produce and grocery gift cards, medical needs and supplies, as well as access to care for social care resources through our Caregiver Model,” said Lillian J. Schonewolf, Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic’s vice president of community health and wellbeing. “This is a wonderful opportunity to take care of our community by going to them.”

The grant money will be used to design and build an entirely new mobile health van that will expand primary-care and other services in social care and behavioral health. It will be done through a partnership with Catholic Charities. It also will enable the expansion of operations; provide for the hiring of a health equity coordinator; and provide resources to ensure hungry families and children have access to healthy food, according to Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic.

Matt Meyer, New Castle County executive, said the funding was available through the federal CARES Act. Brandon Harvath, Saint Francis president Brandon Harvath said the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the struggles vulnerable populations face, and this grant will “significantly increase” the number of individuals and families the van can serve.