Augusta highschool receives grant to supply preventative well being companies, develop entry to behavioral care

Cony Center and Excessive College Principal Kim Silsby stands Thursday in an workplace presently used for storage, however is deliberate to be ultimately utilized by a physician when one is added to well being suite workers on the college in Augusta. The Augusta highschool not too long ago acquired a grant from the Maine Heart for Illness Management & Prevention to ascertain a extra strong school-based well being heart that may carry medical doctors and doctor assistants into the college. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA — College students at Cony Excessive College will quickly be capable to obtain vaccinations, preventative well being companies and imaginative and prescient exams whereas in school.

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The Augusta highschool not too long ago acquired a grant from the Maine Heart for Illness Management & Prevention to ascertain a extra strong school-based well being heart that may carry medical doctors, doctor’s assistants, or nurse practitioners into the college for 15 hours every week and can prolong the period of time licensed behavioral well being specialists can be found to college students.

Indicators within the meals court docket pointing to a well being suite are seen Thursday at Cony Center and Excessive College in Augusta. The Augusta highschool not too long ago acquired a grant from the Maine Heart for Illness Management & Prevention to ascertain a extra strong school-based well being heart that may carry medical doctors and doctor assistants into the college. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

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The $56,000 grant will cowl the prices of supplying medical suppliers from MaineGeneral Well being and improve the hours Kennebec Behavioral Well being supplies companies by 30 hours every week, for one 12 months. It would broaden the scope of care already provided by the college’s nurses.

Principal Kim Silsby mentioned she utilized for the funding to assist decrease obstacles to accessing preventative and acute care that oldsters have reported, together with a scarcity of transportation and medical insurance.  

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“Our families are busy and can’t always get their students to health care facilities,” Silsby instructed the Kennebec Journal. “This will help them get the support they need.”  

Households is not going to be charged if their college students obtain care on the college well being heart, and college students don’t want medical insurance with the intention to be seen — however they’ll want a mother or father or guardian’s permission.

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“It’s exactly what we hoped to have in dealing with social and emotional issues with resources in the building,” Superintendent James Anastasio instructed the Augusta Board of Training when he introduced the grant final Wednesday. “To have more services is important, and to have that commitment from MaineGeneral and Kennebec Behavior Health in terms of the social and emotional part is outstanding.”  

As a part of the behavioral well being choices, college students can obtain group or particular person counseling, psychological well being screenings or referrals for added wants.  

One the cots within the well being suite is seen Thursday at Cony Center and Excessive College in Augusta. The Augusta highschool not too long ago acquired a grant from the Maine Heart for Illness Management & Prevention to ascertain a extra strong school-based well being heart that may carry medical doctors and doctor assistants into the college. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Silsby referred to as behavioral and medical care and a focus “essential to student learning and achievement.”  

“In an area which shouldn’t be underserved, our students just don’t have access to these basic services,” Silsby mentioned within the grant. “Having a School-Based Health Clinic would level the field for our students. Many barriers exist that interfere with learning for many of our students.” 

Maine has the highest rate of uninsured people in New England with 5.7% of residents missing medical insurance. At Cony, about 40% of students met the federal pointers to obtain free and lowered meals in 2021, that means that their households have family incomes between 130% and 185% federal poverty pointers. Forty-two college students at the highschool establish as being homeless.

The well being suite at Cony Center and Excessive College in Augusta. The primary two doorways are presently utilized by nurses and the final one is deliberate for use by a physician or doctor assistant after they’re added to workers. The Augusta highschool not too long ago acquired a grant from the Maine Heart for Illness Management & Prevention to ascertain a extra strong school-based well being heart that may carry medical doctors and doctor assistants into the college. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Silsby mentioned it’s unclear when the companies shall be applied within the college, however that Cony will “start as soon as we can” to get the suppliers contained in the constructing. They are going to arrange within the current well being suite.  

College students will be capable to go to the clinic after college, throughout college holidays and on holidays, or might obtain referrals to group companions corresponding to MaineGeneral if the wanted companies should not accessible on the college. 

Cony is the 18th college in Maine to obtain funding from the the CDC’s “School Based Health Center Services” grant program, which has been provided for greater than 20 years, in line with the company’s spokesperson Robert Lengthy.  Different colleges that acquired the grant are Readfield-based Regional College Unit 38, Deering and Portland excessive colleges, King Center College, amongst different districts. 


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