MaineHealth’s school-based health centers are based on a model of care that supports overall student well-being. They have proven to be a vital resource that ensures students have access to care when it’s needed, while enabling parents to focus on work.
At Western Maine Health, school-based health centers provide both medical and behavioral health care to students at Oxford Hills Middle School and Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School. At LincolnHealth, those services are provided to students at Medomak Valley High School, Boothbay Region High School, Lincoln Academy and Morse High School.
Experienced clinicians visit the schools to evaluate and treat various medical conditions, from coughs and colds to strains and sprains. Other services include immunizations, reproductive health and physicals for sports. School-based services do not replace a student’s primary care provider. When additional care is required, school-based staff collaborate with the student’s parents/guardian and primary care provider to maintain continuity of care.
Integrated Behavioral Health Services
Behavioral health services are an important component of the provision of care in school-based settings. All of MaineHealth’s school-based health centers have behavioral health clinicians available to work with both students and families. In fact, two-thirds of yearly visits at LincolnHealth, and nearly half at Western Maine Health are behavioral health related.
“Integrated behavioral health is a crucial piece to the success of the centers,” said Anne Barker, APRN-FNP, a family nurse practitioner who provides care to students at Boothbay High School. “It’s so wonderful that our students have access to these services, which help them stay in school.”
Expanding Access to Care
Care is provided to all students, regardless of ability to pay. The centers accept private health insurance, MaineCare and self-payment options. For those with limited or no health insurance, they offer assistance with the benefit application process.
“The centers offer us ideal opportunities for providing patient-centered, collaborative and coordinated population-based health care and wellness,” said Kate Herlihy, MD, a pediatrician and the medical director of Western Maine Health’s school-based health centers. “We are able to connect with kids, some of whom have not seen a health care provider since early childhood.”
As MaineHealth pursues its vision of working together so our communities are the healthiest in America, our school-based health centers will continue to provide services that help students and families thrive.