Last Thursday, September 19, 2013, the Community Health Center officially re-opened their School Based Health Center (SBHC) at Macdonough Elementary School located in Middletown, CT. With Middletown’s mayor, Daniel Drew, on site, CHC staff cut the ribbon and cheered as they welcomed Macdonough to their SBHC family, which includes over 100 schools from around the state. School Based Health Centers deploy healthcare providers to different schools to provide expanded medical, behavioral and dental hygiene services. Additionally, dental restorative services (root canals, fillings, extractions, etc.) may also be provided within the SBHCs. These services are NOT intended to replace the regular care that the child’s primary health-care provider offers but instead to work in conjunction with them.
“Students in every community could benefit from A School Based Health Center …I want students to become comfortable with our staff and hopefully reach a level where they feel comfortable enough to begin to advocate for their own healthcare needs – physically and behaviorally,” Jane Hylan, Director of School Based Health Centers, shares. Hylan adds, “I feel like services similar to this can really make a difference in a child’s life and I hope we all at CHC continue to support these efforts moving forward.” Developing a level of comfort specifically in regards to behavioral practices has been an ongoing initiative throughout the nation for years now. Many community advocacy and educational outreach programs have been formed in attempt to eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness. The SBHCs provide these outpatient centers that allow the student to be in more control of their health but also be in control of who knows what. Additionally, the fact that they are located within each school makes it easier for a student to access the care and therefore defeats a barrier that many people face, transportation.
This program has grown exponentially over the years and there is no plan to halt that growth. School Based Health Centers truly have the potential to kick over all stigmas in regards to health and illness while providing great preventative care measures that we can grow on.
If you would like to learn more about our SBHCs and/or view pictures from the grand opening of the Macdonough Center, please ‘Like’ our CHC School Based Health Center Facebook page today!