Choptank Community Health System is celebrating 25 years of providing school-based health services to Mid-Shore students. The milestone is being recognized in February as part of the National School-Based Health Care Awareness Month. Choptank Health is celebrating its successes and raising awareness about how school-based health centers improve access to healthcare services for children and adolescents and how they make a difference in their lives today and in the future.
Rooted in Caroline County: A Legacy of Care
Choptank Health’s school-based care journey began in 1999 with the opening of four School-Based Health Centers in Caroline County Public Schools, igniting a legacy of healthcare excellence and helping to enhance students’ well-being during the academic year.
Choptank Health was awarded a Project Healthy Schools’ Healthy Communities Grant to establish school-based primary care services in Caroline County. A partnership with Caroline County Public Schools, the Caroline County Health Department, and the University of Maryland School of Nursing helped establish the School-Based Health Center sites at Greensboro Elementary and Federalsburg Elementary Schools, and Colonel Richardson Middle and Lockerman Middle Schools.
Over the years, Choptank Health’s commitment to the community has flourished, with School-Based Health Centers and programs now spanning Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot Counties. Eighteen school-based health centers and a mobile health unit reach more than 8,000 students each year, providing dental services in Dorchester County; medical, dental, dietetic, and behavioral health services in Caroline and Talbot Counties; and medical and dental services in Queen Anne’s and Kent Counties.
President and CEO Sara Rich reflects on the organization’s growth, stating, “We are incredibly proud of our Caroline County roots in school-based health. Our dedicated team, now extending beyond medical providers to include dental hygienists, therapists, and dietitians, continues to make a positive impact on the lives of Mid-Shore students.”
The school-based health centers provide in-person, virtual, curbside, well and urgent care during the school year and over the summer months, with student enrollment required. Services include diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, behavioral health services, dietitian services, and educational services.
Choptank Health’s School-Based dental programs include dental screenings and sealants, polishing/cleanings, oral health education, fluoride treatments, and dental emergency referrals.
“We are excited to celebrate 25 years of providing services in our school-based programs,” said Choptank Health Director of Community-Based Programs Chrissy Bartz. “I am proud of our team and the tremendous work being done in our schools.”
For more information, visit www.choptankhealth.org/schoolbased.