Franciscan Health Rensselaer and Appleseed Childhood Education worked together to improve childcare access in Rensselaer.
The Indiana State Office of Rural Health recently honored their efforts. The two entities won the Critical Access Hospital Community Partnership Award for making an impact on rural health.
“These entities were selected because of their innovation and ability to create a partnership to meet the community’s need for daycare,” said Joyce Fillenwarth, state office of rural health manager, in a press release. “This partnership further demonstrates the impact a hospital can make on their community when they go outside the walls of health care.”
Earlier in 2023, Franciscan Health Rensselaer and Appleseed Childhood Education opened a childcare facility on the Franciscan Health Rensselaer campus.
Appletree Rensselaer was the first project of Appleseed Childhood Education. The facility provides childcare for up to 75 children. Appleseed doubles the number of licensed childcare seats in Jasper County for infants, toddlers and preschool-age children.
“We are honored to receive the Community Partnership Award,” said Carlos Vasquez, Franciscan Health Rensselaer vice president and CEO. “This has truly been an effort by the entire community. We are grateful that we have had the opportunity to take part in this project.”
Appleseed Childhood Education works to increase affordable, high-quality childcare opportunities in Rensselaer and surrounding areas.
“There is a whole host of people and organizations in this community, who came together and rallied around this idea,” said Adam Alson, president of Appleseed Childhood Education. “Appleseed Childhood Education is a vehicle for pride, and the childcare center is a realization of that. Affordable and quality childcare is so important for a community the size of Rensselaer.”
Founded in 2020, Appleseed Childhood Education is based in Rensselaer. The nonprofit has raised more than $2 million since its inception. They have partnerships with employers, other nonprofits and local governmental entities.
Caption: Adam Alson, president of Appleseed Childhood Education (left); and Carlos Vasquez, Franciscan Health Rensselaer vice president and chief operating officer, receive the Community Partnership Award from the Indiana state office of rural health. (Provided by Franciscan)