Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District

Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District News Article

CH-UH, MetroHealth Announce New Partnership for School-Based Health Program

CH-UH Board members and MetroHealth Representatives

Feb. 26, 2019 -- CH-UH students will soon have access to primary care while they are in school. In Fall 2019, a pilot program will launch at Heights High School, allowing students in-person access to MetroHealth medical professionals two days per month in a clinic located at the school.

With parent/guardian consent, students can receive routine checkups, immunizations, sports physicals and screenings. The clinic will provide referrals for additional services including behavioral health. The program was designed to help eliminate barriers to receiving health care.

The pilot also includes a needs assessment to understand the medical, mental health, wellness, and health literacy needs of the students. It will help determine the barriers to accessing care at community health centers or through other clinical resources and will help shape decisions around programming. 

“This new partnership with MetroHealth is an exciting opportunity for our community and for the well-being of our students,” said CH-UH Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon. “We are continually searching for new ways to break down barriers to academic success. Convenient access to health care is a necessity for our students. I look forward to seeing what this partnership can bring to our district.”

MetroHealth’s School Health Program has proven successful in several Cleveland Metropolitan high schools including John Adams, Lincoln-West and Garrett Morgan. The program launched with a similar pilot program in 2013 and now serves students at 13 schools within the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

Payments for individual services will be billed to the insurer and MetroHealth staff will assist those without insurance in applying for coverage.

“Our School Health Program is greatly impacting the lives of students and their families. We’ve seen improved attendance in school, higher rates of engagement by both students and parents and improved grade point averages,” said Christine Alexander-Rager, MD, chair of Family Medicine at MetroHealth and senior adviser of the School Health Program. “I applaud the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District for focusing on the whole child and recognizing that access to health care is vitally important to a student’s academic success.” 

“This partnership is a direct result of our Community in Schools Task Force and its exploration of coordinated wrap-around services in our schools,” said Dr. Dixon. “MetroHealth was an engaged partner on the Task Force and is a perfect fit for us with a newer facility in our community.”

MetroHealth School Health Program Director Katie Davis and School Health Medical Director Dr. Vanessa Maier presented at the CH-UH Board Work Session on Feb. 19 to outline the partnership and the school-based health program. 
MetroHealth has an established presence in the Cleveland Heights community. In 2016, the health system opened an emergency department and started managing the medical offices at the former HealthSpan facility at 10 Severance Circle. In 2018, MetroHealth expanded services for the community by opening a 12-bed hospital at the location.  

About The MetroHealth System
The MetroHealth System, Cuyahoga County’s public health system, is honoring its commitment to create a healthier community by building a new hospital on its main campus in Cleveland. The building, and the 25 acres of green space around it, are catalyzing the revitalization of MetroHealth’s West Side neighborhood.

MetroHealth will break ground on the new hospital in 2019, using nearly $1 billion it borrowed on its own credit after dramatically improving its finances. In the past five years, MetroHealth’s operating revenue has increased by 44.5 percent and its number of employees by 21 percent. Today, its staff of 7,800 provides care at MetroHealth’s four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. In the past year, MetroHealth has served 300,000 patients at more than 1.4 million visits in its hospitals and health centers, 75 percent of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
The health system is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and one of two adult and pediatric burn centers in the state of Ohio.  
As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to teaching and research. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and its main campus hospital houses a Cleveland Metropolitan School District high school of science and health. 
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