The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) is in the process of expanding the state’s school-based Medicaid program to allow reimbursement for additional services and providers. This change allows school districts to access significant funds to address the physical and mental health needs of their students.
To assist school districts in taking advantage of this opportunity, Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC) is launching the Medicaid Expansion for School Health (MESH) Learning Collaborative and is seeking up to 15 school districts to participate in the first cohort.
Participating districts will form a team that includes staff from the areas of school health services, behavioral health, and/or wellness; special education; finance; and district administration; as well as parent, student, and/or community partners.
HSC will provide extensive training, technical assistance, and peer learning opportunities to support the teams as they work to develop and implement an action plan. This training and technical assistance is valued at $20,000 per district. It will be fully covered by HSC’s philanthropic contributors.
The project will provide the following at no cost to participants:
- Four trainings per year (3 virtual, 1 in-person)
- Four group calls per year to facilitate peer sharing and provide additional guidance from experts
- Resources, implementation tools, and newsletter with updates and tips
- Individualized assistance with questions and challenges, including the ability to provide feedback to HFS and the IL State Board of Education
The tuition for the training and technical assistance provided through the collaborative is valued at $20,000 per district. This cost will be fully covered by scholarships from HSC’s philanthropic contributors.
How to Apply
Interested school districts must complete a brief application to participate. After the initial deadline, we are still looking for 3-5 school districts to join. We know the start of the school year is busy. If you are interested in applying, please contact Laura DeStigter at email@example.com. Districts will be notified of their acceptance by September 24.
The application can be completed by any member of the district team. Depending on your computer’s settings, your responses may or may not save if you close the application and return to it at a later time. We suggest previewing the application questions and preparing responses so that you can complete the online application in one session.
To be eligible, you must:
- Be a public school district in Illinois
- Secure approval from district leadership
- Identify a team that includes district or school-level staff from the areas of school health services, behavioral health, and/or wellness; special education; finance; and district administration (you may substitute staff in similar roles if needed)
- Demonstrate readiness to actively leverage the training and support provided by the collaborative to expand school health services
- Agree to the participation requirements on behalf of all team members:
- Participate in the collaborative for 2 years
- All team members consistently attend trainings, peer calls, and other events
- Develop and implement a district action plan
- Meet as a team on a regular basis
- Complete an annual progress report
- Respond to communications from project staff in a timely manner
An informational webinar was held on August 26 at 11:00 am CT to share more details about the learning collaborative. View the recording below.
For questions or assistance with the application, contact Laura DeStigter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
View additional information about HSC’s previous work on Medicaid expansion.
Top photo: Allison Shelley for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action