DOVER-FOXCROFT — Stomachaches, sprains and fractures top the list of health issues addressed by the new Adolescent Health Centers at Foxcroft Academy and SeDoMoCha Junior High School.
Since its opening last August, more than 200 students have been seen by the center’s staff at Foxcroft Academy and a similar number at the center at SeDoMoCha Junior High School. A grand opening of the centers was held last week.
SAD 68 is one of the few school districts in the state to have made a commitment to address the adolescent health-care issue. Through the efforts of Wendy Pullen and Cindy Foreman, the district received a state grant of about $100,000 to begin the centers in the schools. The funding is for an 18-month period, and state officials have given their commitment for continued funding for a year beyond the 18-month period.
The centers are staffed by two secretaries, Sherry Gilbert at the middle school and Sherri Jackins at the academy. Wendy Pullen is the director of the center and the school nurse at the academy, and Jan Stone serves as the nurse at the middle school. The nurses are assisted by Frank Patrick, a physician’s assistant who visits the centers two days a week under the direction of Dr. James Berry. Kathy Muzzy is the home-school coordinator.
The philosophy for health education in the district and FA is “based on the fundamental principle that the `whole’ person concept needs to be recognized as the physical, emotional, social, spiritual and intellectual dimensions of each person and are dynamically intertwined.” The health center is to fulfill the “missing links” by providing the physical and emotional dimensions. The center also acts as an educational resource and catalyst. Problems that cannot be resolved at the health center are referred and followed up with parental involvement.
School officials believe that basic health information must be provided to students so they will be equipped with the knowledge, skills and motivation necessary to assure responsibility for their lifestyle.
Among the services offered at the centers, at no cost to students during the life of the grant, are preventive health care and health education; physical examinations and screenings for high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, vision and hearing; immunization booster shots and allergy shots; first aid; laboratory and diagnostic services for minor illnesses; health counseling; sports physicals; and referrals for more complicated health problems.
Birth control devices are not dispensed or prescribed at the centers.
A local advisory board governs the centers, but the policies for the centers are established by the Joint Board of Foxcroft Academy Trustees and SAD 68 Directors.