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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – As students return to school, one nonprofit is working to help kids cope with attending school in a COVID-19 world.

HEALS, Inc. is working to care for all aspects of pediatric health for those on Medicaid all across Madison County.

Pediatrician Dr. Frances Graham says, like other medical facilities, the pandemic has resulted in fewer people getting care they need.

“We’ve seen so many things that have kinda been pushed to the side during the coronavirus thing and people have been afraid on some level. Rightly so, but as far as a risk group kids are pretty low on that scale.”

And with all three school systems in Madison County starting the year virtually, Graham says the decision can have lasting effects.

“They’re isolated from their friends and their normal activities. They are supposed to be at an age where they’re reading facial expressions, and learning social cues, and how to interact. All of those sorts of things that comes from being in a social environment, which honestly, school is.”

But there’s still one thing that’s part of fall across north Alabama – sports for kids of all ages.

Graham says HEALS is working to help kids with one essential part of the pastime.

“You know coming up on this season of the year, we also have tried to provide a source for sports physicals because that is an outlet for kids to have some degree of normalcy and get back into the swing of things.”

But school physicals and caring for kids isn’t easy for any medical clinic to do, much less a nonprofit deciding to stay open during a pandemic.

How to Donate

HEALS, Inc. served more than 2,000 patients in 2019. They can’t serve the families of Madison County without financial support. If you’d like to help financially, please click the donate button below.

If you can’t help financially, please consider donating supplies or donate your time by volunteering. The HEALS, Inc. website has all the information you need.