Coastal Horizons and New Hanover County Public Schools recently opened a Wilmington Health Access for Teens clinic at Hoggard High School.
“WHAT has served as an essential provider of primary health, as well as mental and behavioral health in our local public school system, while also offering important prevention services related to substance use,” Coastal Horizons spokeswoman Margee Herring said in a news release.
Coastal Horizons officially merged with WHAT on July 1, 2016, combining the experience of Coastal Horizon’s staff and expertise into the school-based services WHAT delivers.
Hoggard’s clinic (exam room pictured right) offers a variety of services, including a licensed clinical social worker (therapist), certified medical assistant and nurse practitioner on site 30 hours per week.
Hoggard is expected to have nearly 1,000 parents to agree to allow their children to receive the needed services, the news release stated. Among the benefits of school-based health care is a reduction in student absenteeism, according to the National School Based Health Alliance.
The Hoggard clinic is projected to have 700 unduplicated professional services in its first year of operations. This will include mental health, substance use, primary care, health education and psychiatric services.
WHAT provided more than 10,000 professional services in 2016, and is anticipated to deliver more than 12,000 in 2017.
Program coordinators said successful school-health partnerships share a common vision, “that of young citizens thriving in the classroom and beyond.”
A statement by the National School Based Health Alliance said, “Collaboration with school administrators, school nurses, teachers and support staff ensures the school-health partnership meets student needs efficiently, effectively, and seamlessly.”
The WHAT news release said that since the organization’s merger with Coastal Horizons, 1,000 more visits were completed last fiscal year than the prior fiscal year.
“Expansion of services include a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a bilingual therapist joining the team, expanded medical coverage hours and more training in evidence-based trauma models for therapy,” according to the release.