The Hancock County Board of Education received an update Monday on the operations of two school-based health centers in the county, with some members indicating the possibility of expanding the program in the future.
Lisa Mowry, chief executive officer of CHANGE, Inc. was on hand to provide the board with the report. CHANGE currently operates health centers at Weirton Elementary School and on the campus of Weir High and Weir Middle schools.
“For the past six years, we have steadily grown,” Mowry reported.
The school-based health centers fall under the auspices of CHANGE’s family medical care programs, with the agency operating 13 such centers in the Tri-State Area.
In the Hancock County Schools system, CHANGE began at the Weirton Elementary School, providing service to 462 students in 2017. The Weir Complex School-Based Health Center opened in 2019, at which time a total of 901 students were provided care, with 685 at Weirton Elementary and 216 at the Weir campus.
Those numbers have increased over the years, with Mowry indicating a total of 1,097 students served in 2020, 1,354 in 2021 and, so far in 2022, there have been 917 students served with 436 at Weirton Elementary and 481 at the Weir campus.
Board member Larry Shaw asked whether CHANGE receives any federal funds, and whether it requires them to follow any specific mandates from the federal government. Mowry noted some federal funds support select programs, with much of their services funded by grants and foundations, and most of their mandated activities revolving around the filing of yearly reports and audits.
Board Vice President Ed Fields asked about the possibility of expanding the school-based health center program to other schools in Hancock County, saying he knows there previously had been some funding available.
“I think that funding has gone away,” he said.
Mowry noted some of those funds had been provided through the CARES Act and were no longer available, and funding which is available will not allow for construction of new facilities.
“We can furnish the space and we can operate the space,” she said.
Mowry noted, in addition to Hancock County, CHANGE also operates school-based health centers in Brooke and Jefferson counties.
Today’s breaking news and more in your inbox
Leave a Reply