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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