WATERTOWN, NY (WWTI) – School health in the Watertown City School District has reached a new milestone.
On April 29, the North Country Family Health Center celebrated its 25th year serving Case Middle School students.
Over the past two and a half decades, the center has grown to provide not only general health services, but also mental health and dental services. It was the third school health center opened in the North Country after a clinic at North Elementary and Watertown High School in 1993 and 1996, respectively.
Now in 2022, the North Country Family Health Center currently has 12 schools. All of their clinics, including Case Middle School, provide services ranging from physical examinations, care for sick visits, chronic conditions, counseling services, and preventive dental care.
According to NCFHS Director of Marketing and Community Relations April Fallon, school health is open to all students, regardless of insurance. She said it’s a great option because it cuts down on time away from school and eliminates transportation hassles.
“It’s a great advantage for both parents and students. Students can enter even if they don’t necessarily use our health center as their primary provider or primary physician, pediatrician, or even dentist. But it’s a great back-up plan for students,” Fallon explained.
Watertown Superintendent Patti LaBarr joined the celebration at Case Middle School and called the center a “victory” for students in the district.
“Some of our parents don’t have transportation and they couldn’t take their kids back and forth,” LaBarr explained. “So having medical, dental and mental health services is a win for us.”
Case Middle School Principal Mark Taylor added that the Center has always helped meet the needs of students and their families, but especially now that children continue to be impacted by the pandemic, particularly with regard to mental health services.
“There is such a need for mental health support,” Taylor explained. “It’s reassuring to have people in our building to help us. »
Especially being in a small town, some of the vendors contacted not only the students, their siblings and even their possible children.
These providers partner with school nurses in the buildings they serve to enhance the school’s ability to help students onsite.
“It’s like we’re taking better care of the students they see,” said Amy Forgit, a nurse at Case Middle School. “It’s really rewarding to help students and help families.
With hopes for growth, the Center hopes that all students will benefit from the services they offer at the school.