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 will the center open?
    The Husky Health Center is scheduled to open on Monday Jan. 28, 2019.  A ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration will take place on Thursday, Feb. 21 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    Who operates the center?
    A pediatrician, nurse practitioner, registered medical assistant, and a licensed clinical behavioral health consultant from CareSTL Health will staff the center.  Ritenour is providing the office space in the north wing of Hoech Middle School for these services.

    What are the hours of the center?

    • Services are provided Monday – Friday, when school is in session.
      • Walk-in hours are: 7:30 to 9 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays.
      • Appointment only: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

    Students who have appointments will be transported to and from their school to the Husky Health Center according to a set schedule:

    • Monday: 9-11:30 a.m. - Ritenour High School, Husky Academy-morning students
    • Monday: 12:30-3 p.m. - Marion Elementary, Buder Elementary, Iveland Elementary, Kratz Elementary
    • Wednesday: 9-11:30 a.m. - Hoech Middle School, Ritenour Middle School, International Welcome Center
    • Wednesday: 12:30-3 p.m. - Ritenour School for Early Childhood Education,  Husky Academy-afternoon students, Marvin Elementary, Wyland Elementary, RHS morning North Tech students

    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 behavior 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 to help close health-care gaps for the well-being of students and to create equity in quality health care services.

    What services will the new 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 and diabetes, wellness exams, immunizations, physicals, sports physicals, nutrition guidance and referrals for other medical services at the new center. The center will also have licensed clinical behavioral health consultants (beginning Feb. 11, 2019) who are trained in providing counseling. The behavior health consultant 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.

    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 will function 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.

    How do I sign up for my child to receive treatment?
    Please complete this form
    or contact your school nurse for more details.  Parents/guardians must complete the form and sign it for their child to be seen at the 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 do not need a parent signature.
    Download consent form in Spanish here.

    How will students receive medical care during the school day?
    Parents/guardians must complete the consent form before their child can be seen.  Students will be transported from their schools in a district-operated minivan. Students from each school, per school nurse referral, will be scheduled to visit the center to address chronic health issues such as asthma or diabetes, receive immunizations and/or address other preventative health services.  Parents can also schedule an appointment at the health center if their child is ill.  Students will not be considered absent from classes while receiving services at the health centerduring the school day.  

    If I sign an authorization 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 authorization 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. A signed authorization form doesn't mean that all children will be seen at the center. Parents also have the option of referring their child to the health center by completing the referral form.

    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. 

    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. 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. The center will provide immunizations for students who need them pending parent/guardian approval. Information regarding discounts on prescriptions can be accessed by clicking here.  

    What other school districts have school-based health centers?
    In the St. Louis area, the following districts in the greater St. Louis area offer school-based health care centers:  Hancock Place, Hazelwood, Jennings, Normandy, Riverview Gardens, Saint Louis Public Schools 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 organized and leading voice for school-based health care.  Missouri is affiliated with this organization through the Show-Me School-Based Health.