Governor Perdue recognizes importance of school-based health centers
February 8, 2010
Governor Beverly Perdue has issued a proclamation that declares the week of February 12-20 “North Carolina School Community Health Alliance Week.” The FirstHealth Montgomery County School Health Centers are active members of the Alliance, which is committed to supporting accessible, affordable, quality health care for children and adolescents in school-based and school-linked health centers across the state.
“Physical and mental health care is immeasurably important to the overall well-being of the youth in North Carolina,” Governor Perdue said, “and I urge all our citizens to recognize the role of local school-based and school-linked health centers in improving the health of our youth this week.”
The FirstHealth Montgomery County School Health Centers have provided health care to students in Montgomery County since 1999 and record almost 6,000 student visits annually. The two School Health Centers, located at East and West Middle schools, are credentialed by the School Health Branch of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
Medical services for acute and preventive care are available to all students in Montgomery County Schools for whom the centers have parental consent. Family nurse practitioner Regina Smith serves both locations.
Preventive services include immunizations, risk assessments and comprehensive health assessments. The School Health Centers also provide nursing services, nutrition and mental health services. Sports physicals are also offered during the school year, and a free sports physical clinic is planned for June 5 with more details to follow.
“The Governor’s proclamation recognizes the importance of the critical health care services delivered every day by school-based and school-linked health centers in communities across North Carolina,” said Connie Parker, executive director of the North Carolina School Community Health Alliance (NCSCHA). “In the past year, seven of the state’s 56 centers have lost state funding in North Carolina because of budget cuts. One of the centers receiving cuts was the School Health Center at West Middle School. These centers truly need the support of students, families, educators, community members and policy makers to thrive and promote academic success to help students graduate and become successful adults.”
The NCSCHA is a statewide organization funded by a three-year $310,759 grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust of Winston-Salem and a two-year $150,000 grant from The Kellogg Foundation.
“The funds are used for operations to support the statewide association of 56 health care centers that target populations of children and youth in need of affordable and accessible health care,” Parker said.
For more information on the NCSCHA, visit www.ncscha.org. To schedule a tour of either FirstHealth Montgomery County School Health Center during “North Carolina School Community Health Alliance Week,” or for more information about the School Health Centers, contact Linda Kennedy at East Middle School at (910) 428-9392 or Jane Gilbert at (910) 572-1979. The FirstHealth Montgomery County School Health Centers work with students, parents and staff to promote the health, wellness and academic success of the students of Montgomery County.