Highland School Board approves medical center agreement

Monterey, Va. – The Highland County School Board approved the new memorandum of agreement with the Highland Medical Center at its regular July meeting. Medical Center staff member Tish Amirault gave the School Board an update on last year’s medical center program for the school and highlighted some changes for the coming school year.

“This year we had 71% of the school population registered to receive services through the school-based health care program,” said Mrs. Amirault. “We had a total of 337 school-based health care encounters which is up a little bit from the year before. Two hundred twenty-seven of those were primary care visits and 110 of those were mental health visits, and we had 110 children who participated in our influenza clinic. We have 94% of the children in grades 1-5 in the Fluoride Swish Program and they did continue Alateen this year and as far as I know it is going to go next year as well.”

Mrs. Amirault goes on to discuss further details of the agreement.

“I think you guys have a copy of the MOA (memorandum of agreement) in your packet,” she said. “It expires at the end of this month. The only changes to this year’s is that we decided to give the children the opportunity for a free sports physical as opposed to having to pay for everyone. So there are specific dates and if they schedule and come on those dates, the physicals will be free. If they do not come on those dates it will be a higher fee than it was before, mostly because we had so many kids kind of straggling in at the last minute banging our door down because they didn’t have their physical and couldn’t participate in practice.”

Mrs. Amirault also had news for the Board on the new dentist joining the medical center staff in early August.

“The biggest piece of exciting dental news is that we are welcoming a new dentist as of August the seventh,” she said. “Dr. Laurel Casey is coming to us from another community health center. She’s familiar with how things work in CHC’s (community health centers) because it’s a little bit different than private dentistry. She is passionate about childrens dentistry. She’s very excited to get into the school to talk about oral health education, sealant programs, dietary guidance to help prevent dental caries, and also to encourage parents to use fluoride supplements because our water sources are not fluoridated.”

The Medical Center expects to add a licensed clinical social worker to its staff in the near future which will increase their ability to provide mental health services to the school and the community. In other business, the Town of Monterey has asked the school’s permission to repair a sewer pipe that runs under the parking lot on the north side of the school building. As soon as the environmental permits are obtained the Town will begin work on that repair. It is unlikely that those repairs will be completed before the teachers go back to work in August.

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Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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