Funds help pay for equipment

March 24, 2010
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The Children’s Special Health Care Services program has a sibling in the Children with Special Needs Fund.

The CSN Fund is another state-run program that is administered by county health departments and its purpose is to “enhance the lives of children with special health care needs by providing equipment and support that is not provided by any other resource.”

“The priority has been, for at least the last several years, wheelchair ramps and lifts for vans, some therapeutic tricycles. Air conditioners are very limited, when they are able to cover those,” said Chris Buczek, CSHCS director at the Kent County Health Department.

“If someone goes to that fund, they have to be able to show they have nowhere else to go or there isn’t anything else available. Really, there isn’t anywhere else they can get wheelchair ramps around here or van lifts, and those cost like $5,000,” she added.

Initial funding for the CSN Fund came from a stock donation made in 1944 by Dow Chemical Co. co-founder James Pardee. Other organizations, businesses and individuals also have made contributions since then. The balance for the fund stands at roughly $18 million today.

Children already enrolled in the CSHCS program are eligible for the CSN Fund. Children who are eligible for the CSHCS program, but are not enrolled in it, can also apply for assistance from the fund. To apply, contact a CSHSC office in your local health department, go to Michigan.gov/csnfund, or call 800-359-3722. HQ

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