Ritenour Husky Health Center Q & A
What is the name of the new school-based health center in the Ritenour School District?
The new health center is called the Husky Health Center.
Where is the center located?
The Husky Health Center is located on the second floor in the north wing of Hoech Middle School, located at 3312 Ashby Road in St. Ann, Mo. The room numbers are 200N and 201N.
When is the center open?
The Husky Health Center is open Monday - Wednesday from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. when school is in session.
Who operates the center?
CareSTL Health operates the center. A nurse practitioner, registered medical assistant, and a licensed clinical social worker provide care. Ritenour provides the space.
Why is Ritenour opening a school-based health care center?
In addition to students seeing Ritenour's school nurses in their buildings, the district now can make a comprehensive health center available to all students during school hours. The goal is to increase the access of high quality medical and behavioral health care for Ritenour students.
More than 2,900 Ritenour students have chronic health conditions. According to the Missouri Health Index, the three zip codes that encompass Ritenour are among the most unhealthy in Missouri. This includes the most cases of chronic illnesses, including asthma and diabetes.
Why is this important to the Ritenour School District?
Research finds that school-based health centers increase student attendance and graduation rates. It can be difficult for students to learn if they don’t have:
- An inhaler to breathe through an asthma attack
- Access to a counselor to help deal with the trauma and anxiety of homelessness or poverty
- Transportation to get to a health care provider
School-based health centers help students access health care and behavioral health supports so that they are well and can succeed in school. It is far easier for a student to gain access to health care when it is located in a school and in an environment where teachers and staff encourage students to visit the center.
Chronic childhood illnesses such as asthma and untreated mental health issues can lead a student to struggle in school and eventually drop out, which in turn can lead to other risky health behaviors and poor health outcomes
Ritenour welcomes CareSTL Health to help close health-care gaps for the well-being of students and to create equity in quality health care services.
What services does the health center provide?
The Husky Health Center is the first of its kind in the Ritenour School District. The center allows students access to integrated health services during school hours. The medical services students may access include chronic disease management for asthma, immunizations, physicals, and referrals for other medical services. Behavioral health services include individual group and family counseling. The behavioral health provider does not diagnose mental health disorders or provide prescriptions. A referral can be made for those services. In the future, the center may offer dental care, lab and pharmacy.
Who is eligible to receive medical services at the new center?
Only enrolled Ritenour students in grades PreK - 12 are eligible to receive services at the center. The Husky Health Center functions much like a traditional community health center, offering services to students regardless of their insurance or financial status.
The school-based health center will seek payment for services from the patient’s medical insurance payer source. However, no patient will be turned away because of an inability to pay. There will be no collection of fees when students are at the center for their appointments.
If a student does not have insurance, the health center does have outreach staff to assist families with insurance enrollment.
How do I sign up for my child to receive treatment?
Parents/guardians must complete a consent form for their child to be seen at the health center for primary pediatric care and behavioral health services. The form only needs to be signed once for the child to receive care for as long as they are enrolled in a Ritenour school. Students who are 18 years old or older may consent for themselves.
How do students receive medical care during the school day?
With a completed consent form, students can be transported from their schools in a district-operated minivan to the health center or parents can transport their student to the appointment. Students will not be considered absent from classes while receiving services at the health center during the school day.
If I sign a consent form for treatment for my child, does that mean the school will send my child to the health center without me knowing?
No, signing the consent form allowing the Husky Health Center to treat your child does not mean appointments will be made for your child without your knowledge. School nurses, social workers and counselors will contact a parent or guardian to discuss why they would like to refer your child to the center for an appointment. Parents or guardians of children under 18 have the option of saying they would or would not like their child to be seen at the center, based on the reasons why the child is being referred.
If my child already has a primary care physician/pediatrician, can my child still be seen at the Husky Health Center?
Yes. The Husky Health Center does not replace your primary care physician/pediatrician, but instead supports the care that your child already receives. If your child does not have a primary care provider, the Husky Health Center can be that for your child.
How can I contact the Husky Health Center directly?
The direct phone number to the health center is: (314) 493-6218.
Will I be notified if my child has been to the Husky Health Center?
The Husky Health Center will attempt to contact the parent/guardian prior to scheduled visits. Robocalls and/or text messages are sent to the student's phone number on file informing parents of scheduled appointments. Parents or guardians of students who visit the center will receive a follow-up phone call from a provider if additional follow-up is recommended. Parents and guardians are welcome to follow up with a phone call to the center if they cannot be present at the appointment with their child.
Are there any out-of-pocket costs for those who are treated at the center?
The school-based health center will seek payment for services from the patient’s medical insurance payer source. However, no patient will be turned away because of an inability to pay. No student will be asked for co-payments when they have appointments at the center.
Can other family members receive services if they live in the same household as the student(s)?
No, only registered Ritenour School District students in grades PreK - 12 are eligible to receive services at the center.
Can a parent/guardian be at the appointment with their child? Can the child be treated without the parent/guardian?
Parents are invited to attend appointments with their child, but it is not required. If a parent/guardian is unavailable, the child will still be treated, as long as the consent form had been previously signed by a parent.
Does the center dispense medication needed to treat the student? Does the student bring that back to school with him/her?
The Husky Health Center does not distribute medications. If a prescription medication is deemed necessary by the provider, the center will contact the family’s preferred pharmacy with prescriptions. Parents will be responsible for picking up and paying for the medication.
What other school districts have school-based health centers?
The following districts in the greater St. Louis area offer school-based health care centers: Hancock Place, Hazelwood, Jennings, Normandy, Riverview Gardens, Confluence Academy and Lift for Life Academy.
How do I find out more information about school-based health centers?
Regionally, Health Equity Works, a project out of Washington University in St. Louis, has been a leader in conducting research on school-based health centers. Nationally, the School-Based Health Alliance is a nonprofit organization and leading voice for school-based health care. Missouri is affiliated with this organization through the Show-Me School-Based Health Alliance.