School and community partners came together Wednesday afternoon to announce and celebrate the opening of Hometown Health Centers now located in two Schenectady schools. The school-based centers are the first to open in Schenectady County.
Schenectady Superintendent Larry Spring, Hometown Health Centers CEO Joe Gambino, Mayor Gary McCarthy, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara and School Board President Cathy Lewis spoke about the significance of having this convenient healthcare option on campus.
"This is a truly meaningful day in Schenectady," said Gambino. "We've just eliminated the access issue for children by offering convenient, comprehensive healthcare to students during the school day. This will ensure that children receive the primary and preventive services they need and deserve."
The school-based centers, located in Mont Pleasant Middle School and Schenectady High School, are staffed by family nurse practitioners who work under the supervision of a HHC employed physician. Each site provides medical care and treatment for acute and chronic illness and disease, routine physicals for school or sports, required immunizations, administration of medication, screenings for vision, hearing, asthma, obestity and other conditions.
Additional services provided at the centers include reproductive healthcare, counseling, contraception, STD screening and ongoing education for high-risk activities such as smoking and substance abuse. Behavioral health screenings and referrals for evaluations to specialists are also available.
Health care services are available within the school site to the students who attend Mont Pleasant Middle School and Schenectady High School. Hamilton Elementary School students can be seen at the Mont Pleasant Center during regular school hours.
There is no copay for a child to be seen in the school-based center.
"We are extremely pleased and excited that the school-based Hometown Health Centers are open and serving our students," said Spring. "The on-campus, full-service health centers will help ensure that more students receive the medical care they need. This access will reduce the number of student absences that occur as a result of leaving school for medical appointments and give students an increased chance of being academically successful. We are grateful for this important community collaboration."
Lewis, who has long supported the program agrees that the partnership provides an advantage to students. "Simply speaking," she said, "healthy kids learn better."
Approximately 200 students are enrolled in the school-based program.
Hometown Health Center's enrollment target before the end of the school year is 500.
IN THE NEWS
DECEMBER 01 2016
Times Union Editorial: Help communities succeed
Daily Gazette: Hometown Health clinics up and running at two district schools
Times Union: Schools offer medical services
CBS6: Local students offered new option for health care
Time Warner News: Sick at School? Students now have option down the hall
WGY: Schenectady Schools Open County's First School-Based Health Centers
PYX106: Better Health for Schenectady Kids