Summit Hall: Collaborative Care for Student Success

Aurora* was 10 years old when she first arrived from Guatemala to Summit Hall Elementary in Gaithersburg, Maryland. In November 2016, Aurora was enrolled in one of Summit Hall’s fourth grade classes. Upon her enrollment, she and her mom were escorted by the main office staff to the SBHC were they could assist her and her family with both their health and social needs, including the fact that they did not have any health insurance.

During her first visit to the SBHC at Summit Hall, Aurora’s mom expressed concerns of a history of hearing problems that Aurora had experienced up until then. Immediately the health staff in the SBHC tested her hearing to get a baseline of her hearing loss and scheduled a well-child check for the next week. The Linkages to Learning caseworker assigned to Aurora and her family, assisted Aurora’s mom with applying for the Montgomery County Care for Kids program and eventually applying for Medicaid.

After determining the severity of Aurora’s hearing loss, the SBHC RN met with Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) staff that specializes in assisting students who are deaf or hard of hearing to determine their next steps. It was determined that Aurora needed to be evaluated by an Audiology Specialist and an ENT immediately, and thus could not wait for either the Montgomery County Care for Kids and/or Medicaid to be approved. Having the best interest of the student in mind, MCPS paid for the student to be evaluated by both an Audiologist and an ENT specialist.

As a result of this swift action, Aurora was given loaner hearing aids and is now enrolled in a school specifically for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Even though she is no longer at Summit Hall, Aurora is enrolled in Montgomery County Care for Kids and receives her medical care at Summit Hall’s SBHC.

In addition to help with Aurora’s medical care, the caseworker also assisted Aurora’s mom with employment and housing. Aurora’s mom now has a stable job and home.

If not for the collaborative efforts of the SBHC and MCPS staff to see that Aurora’s health needs were met, she would not be in the classroom that fits her needs today. In addition, to making Aurora’s medical care a priority, they also made it their priority to ensure that Aurora had a stable home life, by helping her mother. Kudos to the Summit Hall Elementary SBHC on this amazing success story!

*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of the student

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Telemedicine In Howard County featured in the Washington Post

School nurse Veronica DeSimone uses telemedicine equipment to connect doctors with students who are ill. (Courtesy of The Pew Charitable Trusts) — Picture from WashingtonPost.com

 

An article featured last month in the Washington Post, highlights the impact telemedicine has had on schools in Howard County. Telemedicine programs in the following Howard County elementary schools are considered a nontraditional school-based health center: Phelps Luck, Bryant Wood, Running Brook, Stevens Forest, Talbott Springs, and Ducketts Lane Elementary Schools. The program has allowed for quicker diagnosis, given providers the opportunity to prescribe medicine on the spot, and have allowed children return to class almost immediately, given their conditions are not contiguous or require additional follow up.

Last year, the six Howard County schools conducted 150 telemedicine exams. Midway through this year, the total was 87. In 98 percent of the cases, (not including those involving who contagious illnesses or conditions that couldn’t be treated through telemedicine), the students immediately returned to class. — The Washington Post

MASBHC has been following the progress of the telemedicine program in Howard County and are excited to see it getting the coverage it deserves.

For the article in its entirety please click here.

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New School Year and a Healthier Northwood High

As the new school year is upon us, schools across the state are making changes to become healthier environments for their students. At Northwood High School, as part of their Hallways to Health initiative, they have removed all the vending machines from the campus that were making high caloric, unhealthy snacks readily available to students. This is a huge success that reiterates to students the importance of healthy eating. Northwood’s student body is large and so diverse that being able to reach them at this population level is a huge success.

The Principal, Ms.Charley-Greene, has been a leader in health and wellness in Northwood High School. For the upcoming school year she has removed the candy, snack and soda vending machines from the halls. Students will be eating healthier lunches and after school snacks. — Kay Sophar, Northwood High SBHC Nurse Practitioner

In addition to the removal of the vending machines, Northwood’s SBHC is also working towards expanding a pilot breakfast program that they have had much success initiating during the 2015-16 school year. Northwood addressed absenteeism with a pilot in-class breakfast program through a partnership with Nourish Now. As a result of the pilot breakfast program during the 2015-16 school year, students had a recognizable increase in energy, they began to arrive earlier to class, and there was an improvement in their grades. Northwood’s SBHC is working on expanding the breakfast program to include additional classrooms and reach more students.

Northwood SBHC Staff for the 2015-16 School Year

Northwood SBHC Staff

Way to go Northwood! Good luck for the 2016-17 school year!

If your SBHC has a success story they would like to share, please email Sapna Hencinski at shencinski.masbhc@gmail.com

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