Community Foundation Invests In JHS’ School Based Health Center

The School Based Health Center (SBHC) at Jamestown High School recently received a $1,000 grant from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation through a combination of funds to purchase a new exam table.

“The old exam table was broken and it’s one of only two in the SBHC,” said Deb Piotrowski, JHS SBHC nurse practitioner. “I am extremely grateful to the Community Foundation as the second exam table allows us to increase efficiency and see more patients. The SBHC is so important for so many of these students, allowing access to much-needed services.”

“The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation is concerned about the health and welfare of our area youth. Several years ago when The Resource Center expanded their services to the health clinic at Jamestown High School, the foundation was supportive of that approach to reach youth. The replacement of the exam table with the CRCF grant continues the support of ensuring that area youth have the opportunity to get the health care they need,” said CRCF Executive Director Randy Sweeney.

Steve Riczker, director of Health Services for The Resource Center, added, “School Based Health Centers fill an important niche in providing essential health care services to children. Unfortunately, funding for these services is extremely limited, so I cannot stress enough the importance of the support we have received from the Community Foundation. We are deeply appreciative of their generosity and will put these funds to very good use.”

Currently, more than half of JHS students are enrolled in the SBHC, run by The Resource Center. It is one of more than 200 across the state, but only the second one in Chautauqua County. School Based Health Centers, like JHS and Pine Valley Schools, serve as equivalents to having a doctor’s office right in the school. Thanks to the efforts of The Resource Center’s Health Services, the SBHC works to expand a student’s health care opportunities.

Unlike the school nurse’s office, which still plays an active role at both local schools, the SBHC’s medical staff can give yearly physicals, administer vaccinations and prescribe medications. School Based Health Centers are equipped with a nurse practitioner and a medical assistant, with oversight provided by a physician. The JHS SBHC requires parents to enroll their child into the program, but there is no out-of-pocket expense to do so. There are also plans to add preventive dental services to both local SBHCs via a grant The Resource Center will be receiving from the Health Services and Resources Administration.

SBHCs across the nation are prevention focused, working to stop or catch a condition early, before it gets too costly or does more damage. There are numerous benefits to students and families including the opportunity to be seen in school without parents having to miss work to take their child to see a doctor.

For more information on the JHS School Based Health Center, or to enroll your child, please call 483-4373. Or, visit the JHS School-Based Health Center’s Facebook page.