North Country Family Health Center Expands Preventative Dental Services to Lyme Central School

North Country Family Health Center (NCFHC) is now providing preventative dental services to students at Lyme Central School. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held in the Health Room, #213, at Lyme Central School, 11868 Academy Street, Chaumont, at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, February 4th. Students, administrators, staff of NCFHC, and local political representatives will gather to celebrate.

In addition to providing preventative dental services to students at Lyme Central School, NCFHC also provides school-based dental only services to students at Alexandria Central, Copenhagen Central, Lowville Academy & Central School, South Lewis Central, and for the ACES Program at Jefferson-Lewis BOCES. Approximately 500 students are currently enrolled in NCFHC’s dental-only School-Based Dental Programs. Students receive dental screenings, cleanings, sealants, and fluoride treatments as part of the preventative program. Services are available to all students – whether they have insurance or not. Services are provided by a licensed dental hygienist who is employed by NCFHC.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer preventative dental services to students at Lyme Central. It is rewarding to know that we are able to provide care to students right where they are – in school,” states Joey Marie Horton, Chief Executive Officer. “Our goal is to make receiving services convenient and easy for the parents, and a positive experience for the students. When children receive services in school parents do not have to take time off work, and there are no out of pocket costs for parents when their son or daughter is treated at the school-based clinics. Our school-based dental staff work in collaboration with a student’s primary dentist too if other services are necessary.”

NCFHC received a $300,000 Empire State Development Grant in the fall of 2018 with assistance from Senator Patty Ritchie to expand its School-Based Dental Program. Since that time, NCFHC has expanded into the Lyme District as well as engaged students from the ACES Program at Jefferson-Lewis BOCES.

“Quality dental care is critically important to a child’s overall health, however, in rural regions it can be a challenge for many families to access dental services,” states Senator Patty Ritchie. “When children go without dental health care it can create very serious problems, namely speech difficulties, serious infections and tooth loss. I am pleased to have secured this funding, which will help connect more families throughout our region with the convenient, top-notch dental care they need to live healthy lives.”

In addition to preventative dental services, NCFHC operates six School-Based Health Centers in the Watertown City and South Jefferson School Districts which provide integrated medical and behavioral health services. Students in the Watertown City School Districts are served at School-Based Health Centers at North Elementary (serves all elementary aged children), Harold T. Wiley Intermediate School, Case Middle School, and Watertown High School. Students in the South Jefferson School District are served at School-Based Health Centers at Mannsville Manor Elementary and Wilson Elementary. Students who attend the Clarke Middle/High School at South Jefferson may utilize the School-Based Health Centers at either Mannsville or Wilson Elementary. In 2018, over 3,200 students utilized the School-Based Health Centers to receive medical, dental, and behavioral health services.

 

 

 

February is National School-Based Health Care Awareness Month

North Country Family Health Center (NCFHC) joins school-based health center providers and advocates from across the nation in recognizing the month of February as National School-Based Health Care Awareness Month. National School-Based Health Care Awareness Month is sponsored by the School-Based Health Alliance, a national organization that promotes and supports school-based health centers to assure all children receive high quality, comprehensive healthcare. The Alliance is celebrating the month with the theme, School-Based Health Centers: Healing Super Heroes Every School Day.

North Country Family Health Center opened its first school-based primary care site at North Elementary in the Watertown City School District in December 1993 and celebrated its 25th anniversary in December 2018. Since 1993, NCFHC has opened five additional School-Based Health Centers and expanded its school-based services to include not only medical services but dental and behavioral health services as well.

Today, NCFHC operates six School-Based Health Centers in the Watertown City and South Jefferson School Districts. Students in the Watertown City School Districts are served at School-Based Health Centers at North Elementary (serves all elementary aged children), Harold T. Wiley Intermediate School, Case Middle School, and Watertown High School. Students in the South Jefferson School District are served at School-Based Health Centers at Mannsville Manor Elementary and Wilson Elementary. Students who attend the Clarke Middle/High School at South Jefferson may utilize the School-Based Health Centers at either Mannsville or Wilson Elementary. Additionally, NCFHC provides school-based dental only services to students at Alexandria Central, Copenhagen Central, Lowville Academy & Central School, Lyme Central, South Lewis Central, and for the ACES Program at Jefferson-Lewis BOCES. In 2018, over 3,200 students utilized the School-Based Health Centers and an additional 500 students enrolled in the mobile School-Based Dental Program. Currently NCFHC staffs 20 employees within its school-based sites.

“We are very proud of our School-Based Health Center Programs and are especially proud of reaching the milestone of providing care to elementary students in the Watertown City School District for 25 years,” comments Joey Marie Horton, Chief Executive Officer, North Country Family Health Center. “Having the opportunity to provide care to children right where they are, in school, is critical to reducing barriers to care; and ensuring more children receive timely, preventative healthcare services. Our goal is to help students stay well and avoid school absences – we truly believe that healthy students learn better.”

No student is turned away from the School-Based Health Centers and all services are provided with no out of pocket cost to families. Therefore, health insurance co-pays and deductible do not apply to families. Students are seen for sickness, chronic health issues, annual physical exams, dental services and counseling services to name a few.

“Our School-Based Health Centers are a great back-up plan for parents. We communicate with students’ primary care providers and coordinate the care they need – whether it is just a cold or a chronic ongoing issue,” states Heather Lupia, School-Based Health Center Program Administrator. “We are especially grateful for the grants we have received to expand our school-based dental programs this year – one from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and the other from the New York State Empire State Development grant. The grants have allowed us to provide dental services to an additional four school-based sites as well as engage students from the ACES Program at Jefferson-Lewis BOCES.”

Any student can enroll to use the school-based services! Parents, or guardians, can visit www.NoCoFamilyHealth.org for more information. Anyone needing assistance enrolling their son or daughter can contact the School-Based Health Center Program Administrator, Heather Lupia, at hlupia@nocofamilyhealth.org.

North Country Family Health Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides high-quality, affordable healthcare to over 11,000 North Country residents annually at its community-based locations in Watertown, Lowville, and LeRay and at its school-based locations. NCFHC also provides nutritious food vouchers and other support to approximately 5,000 pregnant women, infants, and children each month through its WIC Program; assists approximately 4,000 individuals with insurance enrollment annually; and provides special initiatives to help high-risk pregnant and parenting families and individuals who experience insecure housing.

For more information about North Country Family Health Center or its programs, visit www.NoCoFamilyHealth.org or call (315) 782-9450.

 

NoCo is the recipient of “The Greatest Fundraiser”

 

North Country Family Health Center was the recipient of The Greatest Fundraiser – sponsored by The Reading Room, Salmon Run Mall and presented by the Northern New York Youth Philanthropy Council.

On Saturday, December 15, 2018, at The Reading Room at Salmon Run Mall, Felicia Parker, NoCo’s Community Health Coordinator and April Fallon, Marketing & Community Relations Director, were announced as the winner’s of this year’s Greatest Fundraising contest!

The contest/grant was open to all non-profits in the community and was administered and chosen by the students of the Northern New York Youth Philanthropy Council.

NoCo will utilize the $6,362 grant to purchase books to implement their Reach Out and Read Program through their Primary Care Department. Children attending their well visits will receive a new book to keep and take home – the program stresses the importance of reading together as a family.

NoCo Celebrates 25 Years at North Elementary School-Based Health Center

On Friday, December 14, 2018, North Country Family Health Center (NCFHC) staff and local political and school representatives will celebrate the NCFHC’s 25th year of providing healthcare to students at their School-Based Health Center at North Elementary, 171 East Hoard Street, Watertown. A celebration will be held for all staff from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

On November 30, 1993, NCFHC, then North Country Children’s Clinic, opened its first School-Based Health Center (SBHC) at North Elementary. The Watertown Board of Education passed a resolution in February 1993 to establish the SBHC at North Elementary as well as two others – a dental and a medical center at Watertown High School. The North Elementary SBHC was initially scheduled to open in the fall of 1993 in time for the start of the school year but delays with approval from the Department of Health eventually lead to the opening of the SBHC at the end of November 1993. The North Elementary SBHC was designed to serve school children from Starbuck and Meade Elementary (now closed), as well as North, and initially over 550 children registered to utilize the SBHC’s services. North SBHC now provides care to all Watertown City School District elementary students. The district provides transportation to the SBHC for students from the Ohio, Sherman, Starbuck, and Knickerbocker buildings. The Northern New York Community Foundation was instrumental in helping to fund the start-up costs of NCFHC’s first SBHC with a $10,000 grant.
“We are proud to have been on the forefront of school-based care delivery by opening the first fulltime School-Based Health Center in our region at North Elementary School. SBHCs break down barriers to care – keeping parents at work and children in school. We now provide integrated medical, behavioral health, and dental services to over 3,200 students per year within the Watertown and South Jefferson Central School Districts. In addition, we serve another 500 students through our mobile School-Based Dental Programs,” states Joey Marie Horton, Executive Director, North Country Family Health Center.

 

Currently, NCFHC operates six comprehensive SBHCs that provide integrated medical and behavioral health services in the Watertown City and South Jefferson school districts. (North Elementary, H.T.Wiley, Case Middle School, Watertown High School, Mannsville Manor Elementary, and Maynard P. Wilson Elementary) Four of which have integrated onsite dental services – North Elementary, H.T. Wiley, Mannsville Manor Elementary, and Maynard P.Wilson Elementary. In addition to these sites, NCFHC operates school-based dental only sites at Alexandria Central School, Copenhagen Central School, Jefferson-Lewis BOCES (ACES Program), Lowville Academy & Central School, Lyme Central School, Ohio Elementary in the Watertown City School District, Clarke Middle/High School in the South Jefferson School District, and Glenfield Elementary, Port Lyden Elementary, and South Lewis Middle/High School in the South Lewis School District.

“We are grateful to North Country Family Health Center for providing our students high quality, affordable, and convenient healthcare services,” states Patricia LaBarr, Superintendent, Watertown City School District. “The service is convenient for both parents and teachers when students get sick in school. Staff at the health centers take the time to know and work with the students and their parents. We know that when students are healthy they come to school ready to learn,” states Ms. LaBarr.

No student is turned away from the SBHC – students are seen for sickness, chronic health issues, annual physical exams, dental services, and counseling services to name a few. All services are provided with no out-of-pocket cost for services provided within the SBHC, including co-pays and deductibles, to families.


National Mammography Day October 19, 2018

North Country Family Health Center (NCFHC) and Northern Radiology Imaging, Watertown, have collaborated to provide mammography screening appointments to qualifying NCFHC patients on National Mammography Day, Friday, October 19, 2018 at Northern Radiology Imaging.

October is recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and many organizations use the month of October to help raise awareness, and funds, for cancer research. The third Friday in October, as proclaimed by President Clinton in 1993, is National Mammography Day – a day dedicated to encourage women (and at risk men) to get, and or schedule, a mammography appointment. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. In 2018 the Society estimates that approximately 266, 120 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women, and another 64,000 women will be diagnosed with non-invasive breast cancer.

“In keeping with NCFHC’s mission, providing accessible health services to all patients, the opportunity to work with Northern Radiology Imaging for this day-long event allows us to proactively help our patients and educate them about the importance of routine mammography screenings,” states Cheryl Fazio, RN, Clinical Operations Officer, NCFHC. “We will use the day on Friday, October 19th as a means to engage and educate our patients, and highlight our commitment to breast cancer screening as part of necessary preventative care,” states Ms. Fazio.

Additionally, to help support and raise breast cancer awareness, Northern Radiology Imaging will be “Lighting the Night Pink” during October by providing pink light bulbs to the community. The pink bulbs are available at Northern Radiology Imaging, 1571 Washington Street, Suite 101, Watertown, for $5.00 each. The community is encouraged to place one of the pink light bulbs in a visible spot – garage lighting or porch lighting – to help raise awareness about breast cancer and to help support the hundreds of thousands of men and women that have fought, or are fighting, breast cancer. The $5.00 donation will go directly to the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer organization. Community members wishing to make their own mammography screening appointment may contact Northern Radiology Imaging directly at, 315.786.5000.

 

 

Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition

North Country Family Health Center (NCFHC) is proud to have been awarded Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition. As a PCMH facility North Country Family Health Center is recognized for a focus on delivering the right care, in the right place, at the right time with a team that works together to coordinate all the needs of the patient. A large part of being a PCMH facility is providing patients with more personalized care – assisting individuals through what is often a very complex healthcare system. As part of the recognition NCFHC demonstrated that their employees are maximizing health information technology and care coordination while improving patient outcomes and enhancing the overall patient experience. Congratulations to all staff!

Advancing Health Information Technology

North Country Family Health Center (NCFHC) has been awarded the Advancing Health Information Technology (HIT) from. The award is presented to health centers who demonstrate leadership in providing telehealth and health information technology services that include electronic prescribing, health information exchange and telehealth services.

NoCo Open House Tuesday, August 14th at 4:00 p.m.

Staff will celebrate National Health Center Week with two events – the first, an Open House, which is open to the public, on Tuesday, August 14th from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at NCFHC’s main office, 238 Arsenal Street, Watertown, and the second, an employee celebration, on Thursday, August 16th. “We are excited to open our doors to the community on Tuesday, August 14th to showcase our recently renovated facility,” comments Joey Marie Horton, Executive Director. “We were thrilled to receive a $1 million award from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in May 2016 through the Health Infrastructure Investment Program. NCFHC was able to leverage this grant award and invest in its infrastructure at our main location to expand clinical space, create a centralized check-in/check-out area, redesign the WIC Program client flow, and promote further integration of medical, behavioral health, and dental services. Specifically, we were able to add six new primary care exam rooms, one additional dental exam room, and a care coordination suite.”

National Health Center Week 2018

North Country Family Health Center (NCFHC) will join over 1,400 other Community Health Centers across the United States in celebrating National Health Center Week, August 12-18, 2018. The theme of this year’s celebration is, “Celebrating Health Centers: Home of America’s Healthcare Heroes.”
The first Community Health Centers, also known as Federally Qualified Health Centers, were established in the United States more than 50 years ago by community residents and healthcare providers who believed that everyone should have access to quality healthcare no matter who they are, where they live, or their ability to pay. This movement launched healthcare services, and a variety of healthcare providers, into medically underserved areas all across the country. Today, Community Health Centers are located in over 10,000 communities in every state and territory and the District of Columbia and serve over 27 million people, 8 million of which are children!
“The statistics are staggering – 1 in 12 people living in the United States depend on Community Health Centers to provide them with quality healthcare services,” states Joey Marie Horton, Executive Director, NCFHC. “We served just over 10,000 patients in 2017 who made nearly 36,000 visits to our medical, dental, and behavioral health programs.” NCFHC is a Patient-Centered Medical Home and a Federally Qualified Health Center – designations that reflect quality of care and a commitment to breaking down barriers and providing healthcare access to all. NCFHC is one of 65 Community Health Centers in New York State, delivering services to over 2.2 million patients annually via 750 delivery sites within the state. NCFHC has nine permanent delivery sites and provides preventative oral healthcare services via a mobile School-Based Dental Program throughout six school districts in Jefferson and Lewis Counties.

Community Health Centers not only help prevent illness and foster wellness, they produce innovative solutions to the most pressing healthcare issues in every community. “We have approximately 120 individuals who come to work each day in positions including clinicians, nurses, social workers, dentists, dental hygienists, care coordinators, and many more, who work together to provide high quality, integrated healthcare to all of our patients,” states Cheryl Fazio, RN, Clinical Operations Officer. “Our staff work together to address all factors that may contribute to poor health including, lack of nutrition, transportation, and stable housing. Additionally, our model of care focuses on integration of all services, from medical to behavioral health to dental, to ensure we provide whole person care. It is the staff and their commitment to our mission to improve the health and wellness of individuals in our community that has made the organization so successful today.”
Staff will celebrate National Health Center Week with two events – the first, an Open House, which is open to the public, on Tuesday, August 14th from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at NCFHC’s main office, 238 Arsenal Street, Watertown, and the second, an employee celebration, on Thursday, August 16th. “We are excited to open our doors to the community on Tuesday, August 14th to showcase our recently renovated facility,” comments Joey Marie Horton, Executive Director. “We were thrilled to receive a $1 million award from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in May 2016 through the Health Infrastructure Investment Program. NCFHC was able to leverage this grant award and invest in its infrastructure at our main location to expand clinical space, create a centralized check-in/check-out area, redesign the WIC Program client flow, and promote further integration of medical, behavioral health, and dental services. Specifically, we were able to add six new primary care exam rooms, one additional dental exam room, and a care coordination suite.”
North Country Family Health Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides high-quality, affordable healthcare to over 10,000 North Country residents annually at its community-based locations in Watertown, Lowville, and LeRay and at its school-based locations in Watertown, Adams Center, and Mannsville. NCFHC also provides nutritious food vouchers and other support to approximately 5,000 pregnant women, infants, and children each month through its WIC Program; assists approximately 4,000 individuals with insurance enrollment annually; and provides special initiatives to help high-risk pregnant and parenting women and individuals who experience insecure housing.
For more information about North Country Family Health Center or its programs, visit www.NoCoFamilyHealth.org or call (315) 782-9450.

NoCo Telephone Issues ~ Monday, August 6th

North Country Family Health Center continues to experience telephone issues today — please contact us at 315-786-6734 until further notice. We may be reached at this number at any hour of the day or night.
Additionally, if you are a client of our WIC Program please contact WIC at 315-836-6341.