Health Centers Open at Four Local Schools
March 22, 2010
Community Health Care Inc. has developed school-based health centers in four Cumberland County schools. They offer students access to primary medical, dental and mental health services within the schools so children can spend more time learning and less time out of class at doctor appointments.
"Many of us remember visiting the school nurse for a scraped knee or a headache. She’d put a Band-Aid on your wounds, take your temperature and, if you were sick enough, she’d call your parents to come and pick you up," said Richie Elwell, director of school services at CHCI. "Today, schools are being asked to address complex health needs and, with limited staff and finances, it’s almost impossible."
CHCI has opened health centers at Cumberland Regional High School, Bridgeton High School, Broad Street School in Bridgeton and Downe Township Elementary School. Each offers services based on the needs of their students, including medical care provided by a doctor or a nurse practitioner, mental health counseling and group therapy, and after-school programs.
The services are offered without insurance or a co-pay.
"Our goal is to supplement the services schools already give students so they can receive even more complete, high-quality care," Elwell said. "It would be difficult for guidance counselors to manage all clinical needs with so many duties and large case loads. Community Health Care’s providers can help give s tudents the additional emotional support and behavioral modeling they sometimes need."