School-Based Health Centers: Healthier Kids Perform Better In School
On-site Health Centers Provide Accessibility for Students
With the start of another school year, our community focuses on assuring that our children have the best education experience possible. Often, illness and injury prevent children from attending school, which negatively impacts their grades and overall experience. In addition, regular well-child appointments take children out of school, often for a whole day, to make the trip to the doctor’s office. Fortunately for Clay County students at both the high school and middle school, Clay Elementary and Big Otter Elementary, health centers located in the schools provide an option that allows the student to be seen by a healthcare provider, without them missing a day of school or their parents missing work. The School-Based Health Centers (SBHC) are managed by Community Care of West Virginia, Inc., the largest school-based health provider in West Virginia.
With the parents’ permission, providers at Clay County High School, Clay County Middle School, Big Otter Elementary and Clay Elementary can see children for sick visits with acute problems, including, but not limited to, earache, fever, sinus infection, flu, cough, injury and upset stomach. Children can also be seen for chronic health problems such as asthma, allergies, diabetes, ADHD, depression and high blood pressure. The SBHC also offers services that include well-child exams, sports physicals, camp physicals, allergy shots, immunizations, hearing and vision screens and lab work. The center can bill insurance and also works with programs like Medicaid and CHIP.
The main goal of school-based health centers is to make health care available and affordable for all children. Many children are not able to see a doctor regularly due to time or financial constraints. SBHC offer visits during school hours so parents do not have to leave work and children do not have to leave school. A child can be seen by a healthcare provider and only miss 20-30 minutes of class. If they do have to be sent home for illness, the provider can call in a prescription, if necessary, that can be picked up by the parents on the same trip, saving time and extra trips for parents.
The hours for the centers are Clay County High School on Wednesdays from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm; Clay County Middle School on Thursdays from 8:00 am – 3:30 pm; Big Otter Elementary School on Tuesdays from 8:00 am – 3:30 pm; and Clay Elementary School on Mondays and Fridays from 8:00 am – 3:30 pm and Thursdays from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm.
For more information, please contact the school-based health centers by calling Clay County High School at (304) 587-2867, Clay County Middle School at (304) 587-4375, Clay Elementary School at (304) 587-6045 or Big Otter Elementary School at (304) 286-2838.