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Due to the pandemic, our local school staff and care providers are seeing an overwhelming increase in health care needs from students in all areas — mental health, grief, immunizations, acute care, and chronic care — across all age groups.

In close partnership with Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191, Park Nicollet Foundation, a nonprofit health care foundation, and Park Nicollet health services, a nonprofit health care provider, address these needs through school-based signature programs funded by philanthropic support from generous individuals and organizations.

Foundation-funded programs include the Diamondhead Clinic that serves many students and families who otherwise have no options for health care, immunizations or well-child visits; the NOW! (No Obstacles to Well-Being) Telemental Health Program that provides no-fee mental health services; and the Growing through Grief Program that provides grief and crisis support to students and school staff. These programs offer support to children most in need in the Savage community.

Last month, the Savage City Council voted to accept an estimated $3.4 million headed its way under the American Rescue Plan Act and is reaching out to community members for input. Please contact your city council members to ask them to direct ARPA funds to support the Diamondhead Clinic and health resources in School District 191. Visit letstalksavage.com/sandbox and click on “Ideas” to add yours by Nov. 23.

Park Nicollet Foundation is committed to making sure we continue to be there for the children and families who need us. ARPA funds to support these services will be critical to our ability to respond to the growing and additional health needs of our children. Together we can ensure a healthy future for our community.

Elizabeth Warner, Executive Director

Park Nicollet Foundation