MILL CREEK — A local health care provider will open new school-based health centers at two Randolph County elementary schools this fall, bringing to 11 its number of school-based centers in the county.
Valley Health Care will open the two new centers at Coalton Elementary School and Beverly Elementary School.
Valley Health already has school-based health centers at North Elementary, Third Ward Elementary, Jennings Randolph Elementary, George Ward Elementary, Midland Elementary, Elkins Middle School, Elkins High School, Tygarts Valley High School and Elkins Mountain School.
“(The) school-based health centers offer many of the same services that one can get at their main locations: well-child checks and sports physicals; immunizations; labs; chronic condition management; evaluation and treatment of common health problems; and referrals to other health care providers and specialists as needed,” a Valley Health Care press release stated.
“When you feel sick, it’s hard to focus on learning and when you miss school, it’s easy to fall behind,” said Ashley Mauzy, Valley Health Care’s school-based director and a physician’s assistant.
“VHC’s school-based health centers treat kids on the spot, which helps minimize the impact of missing school for appointments or illness so that students can return to class and continue learning,” Mauzy said.
Amana Jones, chief medical officer and nurse practitioner at Valley Health Care, said school-based health centers can bridge the gap in communities where families struggle to access the healthcare they need.
“As a mission-based organization, we share our resources to help keep children and the teachers and staff who care for them well. Our aim is to help keep kids healthy because healthy kids stay in school and do better in their studies,” Jones said.
The centers are “equally beneficial for school staff,” the release states. “Staff of the schools, including teachers, counselors, bus drivers, janitorial and kitchen staff are eligible to receive all the services available. When students/staff access health care in schools, they benefit because they don’t have to travel to find a provider. Parents/staff benefit because they don’t have to take a day off work. Schools and students benefit because students spend more time in the classroom. And employers’ benefit because parents/staff don’t have to miss a day of work.”
Operating hours for the school-based health centers vary by each school’s location and the needs of the students, officials said.
For more information visit vhcwv.org/services/school-based or call 304-636-0133 Ext. 2502
Valley Health Care, Inc. is a federally qualified health center that provides medical and behavioral health care to patients with insurance, Medicare, and/or Medicaid, and for those without health insurance or who are underinsured through the clinic’s Sliding Fee Scale Program.