West Clermont Opens a School-Based Health Center

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A model for improving community health care? West Clermont opens a school-based health center cincinnati.com/story/news/2018/02/13/model-improving-community-healthcarewest-clermont-opens-school-based-healthcenter-serve-students-me/332930002/ Sheila Vilvens

A new partnership between West Clermont School District and HealthSource of Ohio brings a school-based health center to West Clermont Middle School. It’s the first of a kind partnership in Clermont County, according to Lisa Jackson, spokeswoman for HealthSource. The new health center is open to all district students and staff. Eventually, it will open to the community. It provides medical, vision and behavioral health services during the school day. The idea for the partnership was first floated about two years ago. Removing barriers to learning was the driving force behind the district's push for a health center, according to Tracy Quattrone, director of student services for West Clermont. “What we know is having access to appropriate and ongoing healthcare means students are ready to learn at a much quicker rate,” she said. “Half of the students or nearly half are coming from poverty. Removing that barrier and providing that access to high-quality services is important.” HealthSource Ohio is a nonprofit, federally qualified health center. It’s Ohio’s largest community health center serving more than 60,000 patients annually in eight southwestern Ohio counties including Clermont, Warren, Hamilton, and Brown, Jackson said. West Clermont is the second school-based health center for HealthSource Ohio. Western Brown School District is home to HealthSource’s first school-based health center. An exam room at the new West Clermont school-based health center housed at West Clermont Middle School. Students will not be seen at the health center unless the parents opt in through registration. Medical services are not free, Jackson said. Like any other private medical provider, HealthSource bills for services. It accepts all insurance including Medicaid, Caresource, Molina, Buckeye, Paramount, United, and all private insurance. Patients without insurance are also accepted. A planning grant of $25,000 enabled HealthSource Ohio and West Clermont Schools to first study the feasibility of a partnership, she said. A two-year, $350,000 operational grant covered the cost of equipment and helped with start-up staff. 1/3

The center is staffed by a nurse practitioner, optometrist, and support staff, Jackson said. It's not meant to replace a child’s existing relationship with a doctor or pediatrician, she said. The center will work collaboratively with a child's primary care physician if there is one.

The reception area of the new West Clermont school-based health center housed at West Clermont Middle School. There’s also a convenience factor. The district has a driver that will transport students from their school to health center appointments. This eliminates the need for parents to miss work for medical appointments, Quattrone said. Parents also have the option of taking students to appointments. Medical records do not become a part of school files, Jackson said. Like any other medical information, they are covered under HIPAA - Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.



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