Who We Are: The Rockingham County Student Health Centers opened in the fall of 1994 to close gaps that existed in our county in adolescent health care. The Student Health Centers serve as a valuable safety-net provider in our county and increase access to care for our high school students. Adolescents in this county have traditionally been medically underserved. There are four Student Health Centers in Rockingham County one in each of our four traditional high schools. We are committed to providing affordable, accessible physical and mental health care to all enrolled high school students.
The Student Health Centers are a collaborative community program supported by Annie Penn Hospital, Morehead Memorial Hospital and the Rockingham County Schools. We are among 91 school-based and school-linked health centers in the state and are noted as the largest group of rural centers. We are a United Way of Rockingham County agency and we are credentialed by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
Our Mission: Improving the health and school performance of Rockingham County students by providing comprehensive health care through education, prevention, treatment and referral.
Why we are here: The health centers reduce barriers to learning. Linking health care and schools helps boost academic success. The centers help to keep students in school and healthy teens are able to more easily learn. Early identification of students at risk for substance abuse and violence helps ensure a safe school campus. Research has documented that school-based health centers decrease absenteeism. By keeping teens healthy and in school test scores improve. The centers provide care to all students regardless of their ability to pay for services.
The health centers also support families. They keep parents on the job, strengthen the connection between schools and families, link families with other agencies in the county and encourage parental involvement in the students’ health care needs.
The Centers attend to the unmet health needs of adolescents. They are located at school where the students spend the greatest part of their day and provide services that are easy to access by eliminating the barrier of lack of transportation. They provide health promotion to keep students healthy, drug free and physical fit. The centers complement the existing health care system in our county. We know that optimal health leads to an optimal educational experience. Early detection and treatment of illnesses helps reduce the need for more costly treatment later on. The Student Health Centers have decreased the use of the local Emergency Departments by our high school students.
Students in Rockingham County have a definite need for their Student Health Centers. The centers have collaborated with existing county agencies in order to most effectively and efficiently provide services for the students. The centers not only treat the students’ physical and emotional needs of today, but also strive to educate them and teach them good decision making skills and thus provide them with the tools needed for a lifetime of good health. The positive effects of the Student Health Centers are becoming visible and they are definitely impacting the community’s health. The greatest benefits will be far reaching. In the future our community will be enriched as students graduate and bring healthier bodies and attitudes into the forefront of our community and its workforce.
Increase access to care
Increase the graduation rate
Improve the health and wellness of teens
Improve school performance
Gather data on health status of teens
Reduce behaviors that pose health risks
Improve mental health status
Services Provided: The four centers that comprise the Rockingham County Student Health Centers all provide comprehensive health care to our students. Services include: diagnosis & treatment of minor injuries & illnesses, Immunizations, simple lab tests, monitoring of chronic diseases in conjunction with a student’s Primary Care Provider, Social work assistance, abuse/violence interventions & referrals, dental screens & referrals, physical exams, vision & hearing screens, over the counter & prescription medications, Mental health assessments, counseling & referrals, Nutrition counseling, Health education programs & sports physicals.
Who we serve: The Student Health Centers serve all high school students who have written permission from their parents to access the centers. During the 2011-12 school year 97% of students enrolled in our high schools had parental permission to use the centers. This is seen as a strong sign of community need and support. During this same time period there were a total of 13,307 visits to the centers including 1,207 for mental health and 1,142 for nutrition services. Our recent customer satisfaction survey results documented that 100% of students were pleased with the care they received at the health center. 77% of students reported they missed less school because they could access the health centers. The parent survey documented that 100% of parents were pleased with the care their teen received at the health centers.
Our Staff: Our multidisciplinary team approach allows us to reach students with a variety of issues. Our team includes: Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants,Registered Nurses, Nutritionists, Mental Health Counselors and Health Educators. We all work together to keep our students healthy so that they can graduate from high school and start their futures with a continued focus on wellness.
Funding:The Health Centers are most fortunate to have a great deal of community support. Financial and/or In-kind support is provided by Annie Penn Hospital, Morehead Memorial Hospital, the Rockingham County Schools and the Rockingham County Department of Public Health. In addition, the Reidsville Area Foundation is one of our most generous supporters. The Student Health Centers are a United Way of Rockingham County Agency. The health centers currently have grants from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, the NC Department of Health and Human Services and a Community Health Grant from the North Carolina Office of Rural Health. Additional revenue comes from billing, grants and donations.
Advisory Board: An Advisory Board consisting of representatives from parents, students, clergy, principals, school board & other school personnel, Annie Penn Hospital, Morehead Memorial Hospital, local physicians, health department, social services, and local businesses oversees the centers.