U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow today announced funding for the District Health Department #10 to expand the Wexford Adolescent Wellness Center, a school-based health center located in Cadillac Junior High School. District Health Department #10 received support through the School-Based Health Center Capital Program, a competitive initiative which was authored by Senator Stabenow. The program provides school-based health centers with critical resources for construction, renovation and equipment needs to improve children's access to basic health services. In Michigan, there are more than 100 school-based and school-linked health centers serving more than 200,000 students.
District Health Department #10, which represents 10 counties in Northern Michigan, will receive $426,826 to renovate and expand the Wexford Adolescent Wellness Center in Cadillac Junior High School. The Center is open to students ages 10-21 that reside or go to school in Wexford County. During the 2011/2012 school year, the Center provided students with 636 medical visits and 185 mental health visits. The expansion is expected to provide an additional 400 services, including on-site dental services.
Senator Stabenow said: "During these difficult economic times, it's essential that we all work together to make sure our children receive the health care they need. Too many children across our state do not have access to a family doctor. I'm pleased my initiative will help Cadillac Area Public Schools continue to provide basic medical and now dental services to students across Wexford County during the school day. "
James Wilson, DO, Medical Director for District Health Department #10 said: "School based health centers have been proven to improve the access and quality of the lives of adolescents. They receive physical assessment and treatment, as well as counseling for emotional issues without having to be removed from the school setting. This is a win for working parents as well. The funding will allow the clinic personnel to increase services to these age groups who may not otherwise receive such services."
Linda VanGills, Health Officer for District Health Department #10 said: "DHD#10 recognizes and appreciates the under-lying support of Senator Debbie Stabenow for continued funding for school based health centers at both the State and National level. Her commitment to prevention and support of improved adolescent health outcomes demonstrates the leadership and investment in the future of Michigan."
School-based health centers play a major role in providing basic health services for students who do not have access to medical care. Typically, a school-based clinic provides a combination of primary care, mental health care, substance abuse counseling, case management, dental health, nutrition education, health education and health promotion activities.
The Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, oversees the School-Based Health Center Capital Program.