COMTREA Opens Health Center in the Dunklin R-5 School District
February 1, 2019
Healthcare is now easier to access in the Dunklin R-5 School District. With a grant from Delta Dental of Missouri, COMTREA Health Center – Dunklin has opened as a new school-based health center at Senn-Thomas Middle School.
“This school-based health center would not have been possible without the support of Delta Dental of Missouri,” said Sue Curfman, CEO of COMTREA.
At the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting of the center on February 1, 2019, attendees toured the facility and heard from Stan Stratton, Dunklin District Superintendent, Sue Curfman, CEO of COMTREA, Allison Izsak, Director of Communications of Delta Dental, and Becky Ruth, Missouri Congresswoman.
School-based health centers promote healthy living to students and their families, offering quality care without leaving school property.
All students in the district can receive dental care or behavioral health services during regular school hours. A shuttle bus transports students between buildings, removing barriers of access such as parents leaving work early or students missing multiple class periods.
COMTREA takes all forms of insurance, and provides one-on-one meetings to help navigate and apply for Medicaid or a sliding fee scale.
Delta Dental granted COMTREA $99,724 to fund renovations of an existing classroom in the school, along with acquiring equipment and supplies for a two-chair dental clinic.
Fox C-6 School District and Northwest R-1 School District have previously partnered with COMTREA Health Center to open school-based health centers, reaching students, families, and communities in need of accessible and affordable health care.
COMTREA Health Center serves Jefferson County from twenty locations offering health care services in primary care, dental care, and psychiatry, and community services such as mental health, substance use treatment, children’s advocacy, school liaison services, canine therapy, and a domestic violence shelter.
A Safe Place Receives Matching Grant - Needs Community Support
January 29, 2019
Festus, MO (January 29, 2019) – Mary’s House of Hope at A Safe Place transitional housing project is pleased to announce it has received a $300,000 one for one match challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation, and a $160,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank. Funds will support building transitional housing for women and children who have experienced domestic violence.
To receive the challenge funds from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation, the additional $300,000 needs to be raised by community members before November 1, 2019. Your financial support is necessary to guarantee this grant.
To satisfy the conditions of the Federal Home Loan Bank, construction must begin by June 1, 2019.
COMTREA and domestic violence survivors need your help to match the challenge grant through monetary gifts or making a monthly pledge. On average, more than $30,000 will need to be raised each month. Make your monetary gift or pledge online at www.comtrea.org.
“Receiving these grants means that we are closer to achieving our goal of providing additional safe housing to women and children who have been affected by domestic violence,” said Kim Elbl, VP of Fundraising and Development at COMTREA. “This project will allow us to serve more families that are seeking immediate emergency shelter.”
Exposing Substance Use Disorder in Jefferson County
January 25, 2019
As we ring in the New Year, it is important to bring awareness to issues that affect our community.
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (January 22 – 27) is recognized to raise awareness of the impact of substance use disorder in adults and adolescents.
In a 2018 report on the use of substances by adolescents, the Missouri Department of Mental Health exposed that 1/3 of students consumed alcohol, 1/3 of students used electronic cigarettes, and 17% of students used marijuana.
There are multiple reasons why students begin using substances at a young age.
“We work with many adult patients who began using opioids in their teens, which may have begun by receiving prescriptions to treat injuries or taking a parent’s or friend’s prescription,” said Rachael Bersdale, Vice President of Adult Behavioral Health at COMTREA.
“These medications can be overpowering to the brain, creating physical and psychological dependence that continues when the prescription ends. This dependence includes intense withdrawal and cravings which make it difficult to stop using and can lead to use of other opioids including heroin,” said Bersdale.
Other possible reasons for addiction are peer influences at parties or relying on substances as a coping mechanism after experiencing a traumatic event.
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week explores common myths about drugs and alcohol. Rod Campbell, Associate Vice President of Youth Behavioral Health at COMTREA states, “We need to dispel the myth that substance use is an adult disease or best treated in adulthood. The reality is the factors contributing to problems with substance use can be identified and treated in childhood. The belief here is that treating these factors early on will equip individuals and families with skills necessary to develop in a healthy manner. In doing so, the hope is to bypass a substance use disorder in adulthood altogether”.
Another common myth is that “substance use disorders only happen to certain kinds of people” said Bersdale. “Many patients say, ‘I didn’t think this would ever happen to me.’ We have patients from all professions, socioeconomic and education levels, races, and ages”.
If a loved one or close friend struggles with substance use disorder, it may be difficult to know the best way to approach the situation.
“The most important thing is to get educated and start the conversation. Let them talk about what they are going through, that you have learned about how difficult this is for them, and that they are loved and have your support,” says Bersdale.
“Finally, let them know that there is hope for recovery, this is something they don’t have to do alone, and there are resources available for getting effective treatment. With withdrawal, cravings, and trauma that many individuals with substance use disorder experience, they may not be ready to stop using,” said Bersdale.
“I think it is really helpful for families and friends to have support in dealing with how a loved one’s substance use has affected them,” continues Bersdale. “We are creating a group at COMTREA to help support families and friends, which will be available to the community at no charge”.
Treatment and resources for support are available from many organizations and providers in Jefferson County and across the state, including inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and self-help groups.
COMTREA provides personalized services based on the level of care a patient needs. Visit the COMTREA Welcome Center at 2310 North Truman Blvd, Crystal City, MO 63019 for immediate care, call 636-220-5397, or attend the Open House on February 22 from 2-4 PM.
Dental Education: How Exercise Helps Your Teeth
January 8, 2019
With the New Year upon us, many people take this as an opportunity to improve their health with various resolutions. Some will vow to start working out, attempt to eat better, or even replace bad habits with good routines.
This poses a very important question about your oral health! Do any of these New Year’s resolutions help your teeth and gums? The answer is YES!
According to newteethforme.com, exercise can actually improve your dental health, while improving overall health.
Exercise helps reduce the toxins found in your body, and also helps reduce C-reactive proteins. This is all part of the inflammatory response in your body.
Reduction in the C-reactive proteins and inflammation improves the healing ability of your gum tissue, which helps support your teeth.
Along with exercise, making good choices when eating helps improve your oral health, and of course, your overall health.
When your body is receiving the correct types and amounts of nutrients needed, it functions much better. This includes being able to heal and support the needs of your teeth, gum tissue, and the bones supporting your teeth.
As you think about New Year’s resolutions, consider adding physical activity and a great dental care routine, like visiting your dentist twice a year!