Join the MESH Learning Collaborative
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, which will be retroactive to July 2021, allows Illinois school districts to access significant funds to address the physical and mental health needs of their students. In addition, new requirements and payment calculations are in effect that impact reimbursement for services provided to special education students.
To assist school districts in maximizing their reimbursement, Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC) is recruiting up to 10 new districts to participate in the second cohort of the Medicaid Expansion for School Health (MESH) Learning Collaborative. The MESH Learning Collaborative was launched in 2021 and has successfully supported 8 school districts in enhancing their school Medicaid and health services programs.
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.
The project will provide the following at no cost to participants:
- 3-4 trainings per school year (3 virtual trainings, 2 hours in length, with possibility of 1 in-person training)
- 3-4 group calls per school year (1 hour each) to facilitate peer sharing and networking with other districts
- 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 by May 6. Project activities will begin in September, 2022.
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 (2022-2023 and 2023-2024 academic 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
For questions or assistance with the application, contact Laura DeStigter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top photo: Allison Shelley for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action