Tuesday, April 22, 2014
MetroHealth School-based Health Expands to Lincoln West
MetroHealth has opened its second school-based health center, in partnership with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), at Lincoln West High School, 3202 West 30th Street. Plans include launching a pilot mobile clinic utilizing the City of Cleveland Department of Health RV Unit, which will be parked next to the school.
MetroHealth doctors will be available in the mobile clinic on Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. to noon, with plans to expand to a second weekday for the 2014-2015 school year. With parent/guardian consent, primary and preventive healthcare including routine check-ups and immunizations will be available, as well as help with management of chronic diseases such as asthma and diabetes.
In accordance with standard medical practice, students may receive care for sexual or mental health issues without prior consent. Students will have access to sexual health testing, treatments and oral contraception.
“It’s important to make access to quality health care as easy as possible for teens to help them make the best, most responsible decisions possible about their health, especially their reproductive health,” said Marcia Egbert, Senior Program Officer at The George Gund Foundation. “We hope the Lincoln West clinic model quickly expands across the city.”
MetroHealth’s school-based health center at Lincoln West High School is funded by a $125,000 grant from the George Gund Foundation.
“This is the age where kids are trying to exert their independence, but they don’t have all the tools they need to act responsibly about it,” said Christine Alexander, MD, Interim Chair of Family Medicine at MetroHealth and Medical Director of the School-based Health Program. “Having healthcare available right at school enables them to recognize their own health needs at an early age and establish good habits of seeking medical care.”
MetroHealth launched the first school-based health center pilot program in November 2013 at Mound-STEM in Cleveland’s Slavic Village. The clinic provides care to children ages pre-K through 8th grade and continues to show positive impact. In addition, MetroHealth plans to expand the centers to as many as 20 CMSD schools in the next two years.
“Our MetroHealth partners are playing a key role in our goal to raise student achievement and to raise awareness of the positive link between good health and good school performance,” said Eric Gordon, CEO of CMSD. “Their increased presence in our school buildings will not only make health care more accessible to our families, but will improve the health and well-being of our students.”
“Providing easy healthcare access encourages teens to build an ongoing relationship with a primary care doctor,” said Akram Boutros, MD, President and CEO of MetroHealth. “Healthier teens become healthier adults which then leads to a more robust, productive community.”