Plans to establish a school-based health center at Richfield Springs Central School have received a boost from the state, according to a media release from state Sen. James Seward.
Seward, R-Milford, announced Friday that $150,000 in funding to help establish the clinic, which would be operated by Bassett Healthcare, had been included in the budget recently approved by the state Legislature.
“School-based health centers fill a great void in rural areas like those I serve,” Seward said in the release. “Bassett Healthcare has developed a successful operating model, the largest rural SBH program in New York State, and expanding services to Richfield Springs Central School will mean healthier children and added peace of mind for parents who choose to utilize the care option.”
The $150,000 in state funding will provide about half of the money needed to establish a school-based health program in the Richfield Springs Central School. Upon securing the remaining funds needed, Bassett would then have to apply for state approval for the program and recruit providers to staff the clinic. According to the release, it is hoped a program could be established by the fall of 2014.
“Research shows school-based health care results in positive outcomes including lower absenteeism and fewer unnecessary hospitalizations,” Bassett Healthcare Network School-Based Health Program Director Dr. Chris Kjolhede said in the release. “This means the students are spending more time learning in the classroom. It’s also better for students with chronic conditions like asthma and ADHD, because we’re better able to manage those conditions by being where the students are, in the school.”
Richfield Springs Central School Superintendent Robert Barraco expressed his support for the initative, saying, “The school community will benefit tremendously from this opportunity to assist students with their health care.”
Bassett’s School-Based Health Program provides primary, dental and mental health care to nearly 7,500 students in 19 schools in four counties: Otsego, Delaware, Chenango and Schoharie counties.
No family ever pays out-of-pocket for services provided in the school-based health centers.