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Student health centers reopen at local schools

Aug. 30, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HURRICANE -- Now that school is back in session, so are the Putnam County Schools' school-based health care centers.

A school-based health center is a facility that provides students access to primary care in an office located directly on school grounds.

"School-based care is incredibly convenient," Steve Shattls, Valley Health executive director and CEO, said in a news release. "From a parent's perspective, it is the perfect place to establish as your child's medical home. If a child gets sick or hurt at school, one of our providers can have the condition evaluated before a parent needs to be called away from work or home to pick up their child at school. Often times we can address the condition and the student can return to class. If an enrolled child needs care when school is not in session, that child still has access to treatment through the more than 30 health centers and public health programs that we operate."

Valley Health operates health centers at Poca High School in Poca, and at Lakeside Elementary School in Hurricane. Other school-based health centers, run by FamilyCare, are located at Winfield middle and high schools, and at the Putnam Career and Technical Center in Eleanor.

Each of Valley Health's school-based sites offers services, with parents' permission, that include immunizations, physicals, prescriptions, nutrition counseling, acute care for sudden illnesses, care for chronic conditions, dentistry services and referrals for specialized medical and behavioral health care. Routine medical and dental checkups can also be scheduled at these sites.

Valley Health accepts private and commercial insurance, Medicaid, WV CHIP and offers payment programs for those without insurance, according to the news release. For a student to receive services at a Valley Health school-based health center during school hours, enrollment in the program is required. Parents can get these forms by calling or visiting their local school-based site.

Valley Health-Poca High is also open to the community from 3:30-8 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. During these times, all ages are welcome to visit the health center for family medicine care with no appointment or enrollment required.

Valley Health-Poca High is staffed by board-certified family nurse practitioners Sarah Schindler, APRN, FNP-BC, and Julie Vannoy, APRN, FNP-BC. The school-based health center is open to students for appointments every Monday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For an appointment or enrollment forms, call 304-204-0048.

Valley Health-Lakeside Elementary is staffed by pediatrician Jordan Nash, MD. His office hours at Lakeside are 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For an appointment or enrollment forms, call 304-360-6217.

For more information about Valley Health Systems, visit www.valleyhealth.org.

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