Choptank Community Health System’s Director of Community Based Programs Chrissy Bartz PA-C, MMS has recently been appointed by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to the Maryland Council on Advancement of School-Based Health Centers.
Bartz represents Federally Qualified Health Centers on the Council, and joins 14 other gubernatorial appointees led by Council Chair Kate Connor, M.D., MSPH, and Vice-Chair, Patryce Toye, M.D. Federally Qualified Health Centers are community-based health care providers that receive funds from the U. S. Health Resources & Services Administration’s Health Center Program to provide primary care services in underserved areas.
“I am grateful to represent Choptank Community Health System and other FQHCs in the amazing work that the Council is doing,” said Bartz. “School-Based Health Centers—especially in rural settings—give students access to timely medical, dental, and behavioral health care in the place where they spend the most time. They also improve attendance by limiting the amount of time students and staff miss from school and work by providing the care they need, and then allowing them to return to school as appropriate.”
“Choptank Health is grateful for Chrissy’s expertise and service representing the Mid-Shore’s communities,” said Choptank Health CEO Sara Rich. “Her service and advocacy will help provide access to exceptional, comprehensive and integrated health care for all.”
Bartz is a physician’s assistant certified by the National Commission of Certification of Physician Assistants, which to maintain requires 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years, along with passing a national recertification exam every six years.
The programs Bartz oversees in her role as ChoptankHealth’s Community Based Programs Director include School-Based Health Centers, community-based dental services, and migrant relations.
Choptank Health operates 12 school-based health centers that are located in each Caroline County school and in Talbot County’s Easton Elementary, Easton Middle, and Easton High Schools. Each Health Center is staffed by licensed advance practice clinicians, including Certified Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants, and function like a typical doctor’s office. Choptank also provides school-based dental services—including dental screenings, sealants, and dental education during non-pandemic times.
The Maryland General Assembly approved legislation in 2015 to create the Maryland Council on Advancement of School-Based Health Centers, with a purpose to improve the health and educational outcomes of students who receive school-based health centers (SBHCs) services. The Council is responsible for advancing integration of SBHCs into the state and local level health care and educational systems. More about the Council is at bitly.com/maryland-sbhc.
School-based health care is a powerful tool for achieving health equity among children and adolescents who unjustly experience disparities in outcomes simply because of their race, ethnicity, or family income. The School-Based Health Alliance recognizes February as School-Based Awareness month and says school-based health care is a commonsense idea gaining currency across the country as it places critically needed services like medical, behavioral, dental, and vision care directly in schools so that all young people, no matter their zip code, have equal opportunity to learn and grow. More about the Alliance is at sbh4all.org.
Choptank Community Health System provides medical, dental, pediatric, and behavioral health services in Caroline, Dorchester, and Talbot counties, with a mission to provide access to exceptional, comprehensive, and integrated health care for all. Choptank Health’s vision is to improve the health and well-being of people in the communities served by providing outstanding care experiences while being an exceptional place to work and make a difference, with more at choptankhealth.org.