Health care centers now open to keiki at 3 West Hawai’i public schools
The Hawai’i Island Community Health Center has launched school-based health centers at three West Hawai’i schools in an effort to expand health care to keiki.
The health centers will provide on-site care at Hōnaunau Elementary, and Kealakehe Elementary and Intermediate Schools. The health centers will present services including well child exams, visits for illness or injury, behavioral health care and dental services, according to a press release from Hawaii Island Community Health Center.
“Our School Based Health Centers should not replace routine care,” said Hawai’i Island Community Health Center CEO Richard Taaffe. “Our goal is to provide care that is in addition to the care received at a child’s primary doctor’s office. This is also a chance for children who don’t otherwise have access to health care to receive it easily in a school setting. Parents are so busy these days. It’s our hope that the convenience of a health center at school will reduce students time away from school and parents time away from work.”
The school-based health centers at Kealakehe and Hōnaunau will also provide care for chronic illnesses, such as asthma, ADHD, allergy shots etc.
The health care facility says any student with a signed consent form may be seen in the School Based Health Center at the school that they attend. In the next phase of operation, staff of the school including teachers, counselors, bus drivers, janitorial and kitchen staff will also be eligible to receive primary health care services.
Signing up for school based health care at Kealakehe and Honaunau is optional and not mandatory.
Each School Based Health Center is staffed with a medical team including a primary care provider. In addition to primary care, campus health centers have access to behavioral health psychologists, and pediatric dental teams. Operating hours vary by each school location and the needs of the students there.
Hawai’i Island Community Health Center is exploring options with the Department of Education in hopes of expanding School Based Health Centers to other Hawai’i Island school locations in 2023 and beyond.
Visit www.HICommunityHealthCenter.org for more information or call 808-333-3600 for East side and 808-326-5629 for West side info.