EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A portion of Momauguin Elementary School has been turned into a health center. There was an official grand opening for it on Thursday.
“Parents have easy access to quality health care,” said Melanie Wilde, program manager for the School-Based Health Center. “Behavioral health, medical and dental. It’s right here in the school.”
Having the health center in the building will allow students to have access to such services in a timely manner. It also means they’re in a comfortable environment and won’t have to miss school.
Aside from dental check-ups and immunizations, there’s also a tremendous emphasis put on mental and behavioral health.
“In order for a child to learn, the child has to be healthy,” said Dr. Portia Bonner, superintendent of East Haven Schools. “As generations change we see there’s more mental health issues. We are dealing with social needs. So it not only helps the child, but it also helps the family.”
There are nearly 190 health centers located in schools throughout the state. Community Health Center Inc. is behind them all and also pays the staff who help run the operations. Officials say local, state and federal grants help make it all possible. The health center does accept private insurance, but there are no co-pays or deductibles. Even those who are uninsured are still treated, and often times staff will help the family find an insurance plan that helps fit their needs.
Officials say the health center does not replace the school nurse, they will still see students on a daily basis during school hours.