Page 15 - Scene Magazine 43-03 March 2018
P. 15

Education Scene
What is a School Based Health Center?
 Why is there a Health Center in my child’s school? Your son texts you saying he isn’t feel- ing well. You are at work. He was fine this morning, but
now what do you do? You leave work, pick him up, take him to the urgent care because his doctor’s office cannot see him today, and drop him at home. Or you can have him see the nurse practitioner at his school based health center and you can stay at work!
School based health centers offer many services to students and families with the goal of keeping the students engaged in the learning process and ul- timately improving student success and graduation rates.
Families can access some or all of the services offered. Each center has a licensed nurse practitioner and a li- censed mental health provider. These well trained professionals and their sup- port staff can evaluate and treat acute illness like headaches, flu, and viruses. They can test and treat sexually transmit- ted diseases and offer pregnancy testing, but contraception is not offered at any school based facility. Sports injuries or accidents can be evaluated and managed. The mental health provider can provide counseling to students for anxiety, grief, depression, and stress management.
coaching on nutrition, physical activity, sleep hygiene, smoking cessation, and substance abuse counseling. If a prob- lem is beyond the scope of the center, re- ferrals to other providers are completed, and of course, the staff will coordinate with your child’s primary care provider.
While the focus is on the students, there are benefits for the school staff, families, and the community as well. The health centers support school staff through partnering to ensure that a build- ing wide needs assessment is completed yearly. These identify areas of focus for each individual school. The practitioners are available as a resource to parents and have strategies for parents to engage in discussing sensitive subjects like sexual identity and sex acts, illicit drug use, and bullying with their children. Each health center can assist families with accessing community services and outreach pro- grams including Medicaid enrollment,
and assist families to apply for insurance through the marketplace.
The Calhoun County Public Health Department has three school based health centers in the Battle Creek area: Springfield Middle School (SMS), Battle Creek Central High School (BCCHS), and Lakeview Middle School (LMS). The centers at SMS and BCCHS are open to anyone 10-21 years of age living in Calhoun County. At LMS, the center is open to anyone 10-21 years of age that lives in or attends a school in the Lakev- iew School District. Best of all – there is little to no out-of-pocket cost for any of these services to students or families.
School based health centers pro- mote strong students, strong families, strong schools, and strong communities. Through their many services and coor- dination of care, chronic absenteeism is decreased, and graduation rates increase. Schedule your student for a visit today!
BY ALYSON MURRAY, Nurse Practitioner, CCPHD Student Health Center, BCCHS
    Calhoun County
Public Health Department
                               However, acute care and mental health services are only a small part of the work done in the health center. Preventative care is just as important! Each center of- fers immunizations to keep students up to date on vaccinations. Yearly well child visits can be scheduled. If your student wants to participate in sports, the center offers a thorough sports physical and the completed paperwork gets directly to the school’s athletic office!
Education is a priority for school based health centers. Each center offers chronic disease education and manage- ment to minimize the impact of long- term health conditions such as diabetes or asthma. Students are encouraged to make better choices through health
To Be Healthy
 School Based Health Centers
Springfield Middle School
Battle Creek Central High School Lakeview Middle School
 269-969-6370 •

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