Knott Foundation and CareFirst join Loyola Clinical Centers’ supporters
Since its establishment in 2003, the Loyola Clinical Centers (LCC) has provided state-of-the-art care to those needing support in the areas of psychology, literacy, hearing, speech, language, and now, pastoral counseling. The LCC’s corporate and foundation partners are important factors in maintaining its high standards of service delivery, graduate student training, and the development of research opportunities. This year, the LCC received a $78,632 grant from the Marion I. and Henry J. Knott Foundation to fund cutting-edge technology. The funding will allow the LCC to purchase numerous multimedia devices, including 52 iPads, 10 laptops, and video streaming and monitoring equipment to benefit clients and graduate student training. With this innovative technology, nearly 200 supervised graduate students will serve more than 1,700 clients per year at three Clinical Centers locations in and around the Baltimore/Washington area, improving clients’ communication, literacy, and social skills, and introducing caregivers to the latest therapeutic applications.
“I am incredibly grateful for the Knott Foundation’s generous support of the Clinical Centers and our commitment to social change through graduate student education and service to the community, the nation, and the world,” said Janet Simon Schreck, executive director of the LCC. “Once in place, these new technological resources will prove to be an important and effective enhancement to therapy, increasing therapeutic effectiveness and decreasing the time required to achieve client goals.”
For example, speech-language pathology therapists will be able to use iPads like mirrors for clients who need to imitate an exercise and have that exercise recorded for review. They will also use various apps to facilitate communication in children with autism and adults who have suffered strokes. The LCC staff will also aggregate, analyze, and interpret data gathered from technology implementation over the course of the grant period.
The LCC also received a $10,000 grant from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) to continue efforts to provide affordable and accessible health services to underserved populations.
The LCC will use the money to partially offset fees for clients who cannot afford its already low-cost psychology and/or speech-language pathology/audiology services.
“In this difficult economy, we anticipate an even greater number of people who qualify for financial assistance will seek our care in the coming year,” said Schreck, who also recently appeared on the Comcast Newsmakers program. "With the help of CareFirst, we will further our commitment to meeting their needs.”
Increased access to the LCC’s services will result in improved academic performance among school-age children; better mental health behaviors between and among children and adults; enhanced communication between and among children and adults in school, work, play, and other social interactions; and improved social participation by adults with chronic and degenerative cognitive-communication issues. In 2010, 65 percent of the LCC’s 1,757 clients received free or reduced cost services, determined by the LCC’s sliding fee scale. “We are happy to support the work of the Loyola Clinical Centers and this funding will allow the organization to better address their patients' health needs and to improve overall health outcomes for low-income populations,” said Maria Harris Tildon, CareFirst senior vice president of public policy and community affairs. “Our support for programs like this is part of our regional efforts to enhance access to health care and social services for some of our region’s most vulnerable populations.”
The LCC has also been strengthening its partnerships with area organizations and school systems, working with the Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts and the Howard County School System to bring the three-year old Expanding Horizons: Broadway Kids Program to Glenelg High School. Combining speech-language therapy and dramatic arts to treat children with disorders of social communication, the program allowed 22 Glenelg students—half typically developing, half from the school’s academic life skills class for students with special needs—to present two productions of A Broadway Revue to a packed house of parents, administrators, and fellow students. Expanding Horizons: Broadway Kids clients at the LCC’s Columbia location later presented a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. These efforts were supported by the Horizon Foundation.
“Technically the show is meant to be therapeutic, but you can see the pure enjoyment on the students’ faces on stage,” said Maren Townsend, division director for speech-language pathology and audiology at the LCC. “Watching all the actors celebrating and enjoying the experience together was amazing.”