NORWAY – Western Maine Health Vice President of Clinical Service M. Patricia Cook, R.N., M.B.A., Ed.D., has announced that the School-Based Health Centers at Oxford Hills Middle and High School have participated in the celebration of National School-Based Health Center Awareness Month during October.

It has been 10 years since Stephens Memorial Hospital joined forces with SAD 17 to begin providing health services in the schools at School-Based Health Centers, augmenting the school nurses services.

Cathy Roland, M.S.N., a certified pediatric nurse practitioner, provides care for students 20 hours a week at the Oxford Hills Middle School and 20 hours a week at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School. Dr. Jeffrey Peterson, Western Maine Pediatrics, is the program’s medical adviser.

The centers provide care for students while keeping them in school and learning. As a result of the centers, ER visits are reduced as is absenteeism and the burden on parents to miss work to seek care for children.

Services include not only diagnosis and treatment of injuries and illness, but also chronic illness management for diseases such as diabetes and asthma. The centers provide routine physical exams and immunizations, prescriptions and laboratory testing.

The pediatric nurse practitioner communicates with the student’s primary care physician and parents. In addition, the centers collaborate with the school nurses, oral health professionals, dietitians, counselors, local health agencies, faculty and community boards.

Currently 50 percent of the students at middle and high school are enrolled in the centers. Five years ago the rate was 6 percent at the high school and 15 percent at the middle school.

The centers are not medical “homes” for students, but act in conjunction with their primary care physician. In Maine, 86 percent of students have their own physician. At the centers, 95 percent have a physician.

The centers are affiliates of Stephens Memorial Hospital, which is an affiliate of Western Maine Health, part of the Maine Health family. Visit Western Maine Health on the Internet at www.wmhcc.org.


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