Nebraska Hospital Receives $3 Million to Serve Migrant Families

Aug. 13, 2021, 4 p.m. ·

Russell McCulloh chest up, headshot photo. He's wearing a dark blue blazer and light blue shirt with a red tie.
Russell McCulloh is the principle investigator of the research, which allowed UNMC to receive the grant program from the National Institutes of Health. (Photo courtesy of UNMC)

A $3 million grant is helping a Nebraska hospital expand COVID-19 testing for migrant families in the state. The University of Nebraska Medical Center received the grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Russell McCulloh is the lead investigator for the research done by the medical center and said the funds will go toward underserved families.

“Families who choose to enroll, download a mobile application onto their phone or tablet that allows them to do symptom screening for their household,” he said, “for symptoms of infection that could be COVID or exposure for COVID.”

Then, a saliva sample is sent to the medical center’s lab and the results of the test typically come back within a day.

Also as a part of the grant, families complete what is called a ‘household stressor’ form on the mobile app every two weeks.

“Any time they report a need or a stressor that the household’s facing, they’ll be asked whether they want to receive assistance from our family navigator,” McCulloh said, “who will be a case manager / social worker.”

Social workers come from the Children’s Hospital and Medical Centers in Kearney, and they guide the families to appropriate resources.

The National Institutes of Health will provide $15 million total over the next two years.