The Howard County Health Department in collaboration with the Howard County Public School system and the Howard County Government, opened Howard County’s first school-based wellness center located at Bollman Bridge Elementary School in Jessup, Maryland.
The Bollman Bridge Wellness Center provides preventive and primary health care services to children throughout the school day and is open 5 days a week. The center is staffed by a full-time nurse practitioner, who is the clinician providing the medical services; a full-time medical office assistant that registers patients, performs health measurements, obtains specimens; a full-time licensed social worker who provides mental health services; and physician Dr. Jackie Douge, who oversees the medical care and the program.
All services require enrollment in the program and written consent from the parents and/or guardians. Children of Bollman Bridge staff can also be enrolled and seen. In its first year, the wellness center enrolled 346 children in the program (46% of the school) resulting in a total of 122 unduplicated visits (35% user rate) and 215 visits overall. The wellness center also provides mental health services and thus far, the mental health counselor has held 211 sessions with students. The key to Bollman Bridge’s successful enrollment has been the support of the local county government and the support of of the school principal, Jonathan Davis. Principal Davis saw the need for a wellness center and was instrumental in gearing up support from the staff and the school families.
Bollman Bridge Wellness Center services include:
- Annual/Camp/Sports Physicals
- Immunizations (including flu vaccines)
- Treatment for illnesses: Strep throat, ear infections and more
- Management of obesity, asthma, and other stable chronic illnesses
- Behavioral health counseling: sadness, anger and other concerns
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