Thursday, April 24, 2014
MetroHealth Cuts Ribbon on Lincoln West School-Based Health Center
MetroHealth physicians helped cut the ribbon on the health system's second school-based health clinic Thursday at Lincoln-West High School.
Dr. Matthew Tien, the medical director of the Lincoln-West school-based health center, and Dr. Christine Alexander, medical director of the school-based health program, both spoke in front of students and faculty.
"I am MetroHealth's number one fan," Dr. Alexander said. "I think MetroHealth is the best institution not just in Cleveland or Ohio, but in the entire country, because of our ability to say what's really important is the patient and it's about what's right for the patient at all times, wherever they are, whatever they need."
MetroHealth doctors such as Dr. Tien 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 health care including routine checkups 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.
Eric Gordon, CEO of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, explained that school-based health centers help students get healthier while minimizing missed class time.
"The two cannot be separated. Healthy students are educated scholars," Gordon said. "This partnership has raised the bar for the kinds of services that can be provided to schools."
Ward 14 Councilman Brian Cummins added that while MetroHealth and Lincoln-West are separated by mere blocks, bringing MetroHealth's resources to Lincoln West's "doorstep" will encourage students to seek out needed care.
MetroHealth's school-based health center at Lincoln-West follows the successful implementation of one at Mound-STEM, where Gordon said that 20 families have procured health insurance in addition to the primary care accorded to students there.
"This is truly a win-win," Gordon said. "It used to be thought that you couldn't do this unless one of the organizations footed the bill. What we actually know is using the health care resources of our community in different ways, ways that MetroHealth is leading, everybody benefits."
Dr. Alexander introduced Dr. Tien, who emphasized his desire to show the student body "my friendly face."
"I look forward to a long and strong relationship," Dr. Tien said.