School-based health center serves students at Conrad Schools of Science

At Conrad Schools of Science, students can now conveniently receive immunizations, mental health care, nutrition counseling and other health services, all within the walls of their school. Conrad is the latest school-based health center operated by Christiana Care.

“It’s a great program and a wonderful addition to the school,” said Dr. Mervin Daugherty at the official ribbon cutting for the center, Sept. 7.

Wellness centers help students age 12 and older to overcome obstacles to receiving quality health care, such as lack of transportation, inconvenient appointment times and worries about cost and confidentiality. Working with each student’s health care provider, parents and school nurse, wellness centers provide comprehensive medical care, mental health care, treatment and health education.

Conrad Schools of Science, a life-science magnet school in Newport, educates students in grades six through 12. It’s the third school in which a Christiana Care school-based health center serves middle-school students in addition to high school students. The others are John Dickinson School and Cab Calloway School of the Arts. In all, Christiana Care operates 16 school-based health centers in six school districts.

The health center at Conrad began serving students on April 3. During the 2016-17 school year, 109 of Conrad’s 1,195 students — 9 percent of the student body — were registered to receive care at the center. The center logged 84 visits for medical care, mental health care and nutrition counseling.

For the 2107-18 school year, 202 out of 1,174 students are registered, 17.2 percent of the student body.

“The more the students see us, the more comfortable they will be,” said Michael Peyton, LCSW, the coordinator and senior social worker at the center. He expects that number will grow.

A number of students have come to the center to receive physical exams for school sports programs. Students can consult a nurse practitioner for such services as health screenings, reproductive health care, weight management and minor injuries and illnesses. Services also include crisis intervention and suicide prevention, drug and alcohol counseling, and individual, family and group counseling.

The centers are operated by a partnership between Christiana Care, the school districts and the Delaware Division of Public Health, Department of Health and Social Services.