North Country Family Health Center celebrated its 25th year of providing medical and behavioral health services at Case Middle School on Friday, April 29th.
“We are thrilled to be celebrating a quarter century of providing healthcare services to students at Case Middle School. Providing services directly where students are – in school – significantly increases access to care and allows our staff to focus on the importance of preventative healthcare and health education,” comments Joey Marie Horton, Chief Executive Officer, North Country Family Health Center. “All students are eligible to enroll in the School-Based Health Program within Watertown City School District regardless of income or current healthcare provider. Enrollment is a great back-up plan in case a student gets sick at school or the Health Center can be used as a child’s primary care provider if they do not have one.”
NCFHC, then the North Country Children’s Clinic, opened its first School-Based Health Center at North Elementary in December 1993. In the fall of 1996, a second Health Center was opened at Watertown High School making Case Middle School the third School-Based Health Center to open within the Watertown City School District. In August 1996, The Northern New York Community Foundation awarded the then North Country Children’s Clinic a $25,000 grant to help support the establishment of the Case School-Based Health Center.
Case’s School-Based Health Center is staffed by a Family Nurse Practitioner, a Patient Service Representative, and a Licensed Masters Social Worker who provide individual and family counseling services. Staff care for students when they are sick or if they experience chronic care issues such as diabetes or asthma.
Well child and annual physical exams are also offered to students as well as sports physicals, immunizations, and allergy shots. If students at Case Middle School need preventative dental services such as cleanings, sealants, or fluoride varnish treatments they use the school-based dental clinic at H.T. Wiley School, located on the Watertown City School District campus.
“Many parents choose to enroll their children just in case – in case they are not able to leave work to care for a sick child or they are not able to get their sick child into their primary care provider as soon as they’d like. In addition, we serve as many children’s primary care provider as well,” comments Heather Lupia, School-Based Health Center Administrator. “No student is turned away from our School-Based Health Centers – services are provided with no out-of-pocket cost (co-pays and deductibles) which is a nice benefit for parents. Enrollment forms are available at each school or on-line on our website, www.NoCoFamilyHealth.org.”
“It has been proven time and time again that healthy, happy students are more engaged in their academics,” comments Mark Taylor, Principal, Case Middle School. “Our students, as well as our teachers and staff, are lucky to have the on-site medical and behavioral health services provided by the Health Center. We look forward to working with the NCFHC staff to provide these services to our students for years to come.”