Health Services Policy Information
Definition of Health Services
Health services are services provided for students in a school setting to appraise, protect, and promote health; to provide services in harmony with community, parents/ guardians, and other constituencies; and to ensure all students have access to services.
Comprehensive Services Provided by Qualified Staff
Each school has an array of comprehensive health and wellness services that are available and provided by nursing and dental professionals, school staff, community partners, (e.g., Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Mercy Behavioral Health) registered dietitians, and the Student Assistance Program Team to focus on prevention and early intervention.
District staff are provided with appropriate resources and training for continuous improvement.
School nurses and school nurse practitioners address the management of acute incidents and emergency care, (e.g., allergic reactions, asthma attacks) in the school setting, as well the provision of student health screenings, working with parents to secure medical care for their student, medication management, and assessment and planning for management of chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes. School nurses and School Nurse Practitioners work with many students’ private physicians to provide follow-up and ongoing care while at school.
School Dental Hygienists provide dental education to all grades and conduct dental screenings for students in grades identified by the state to ensure students are receiving appropriate dental care.
Administration of Health Services
The Office of Health Services is administered by the Director of Health Services or designee to ensure consistency/standardization of service delivery utilizing a “best practice model,” and quality assurance monitoring.
The Director of Health Services or designee regularly assesses and reports on the District and building-level implementation of health services. The Director of Health Services or designee is also responsible for filing a medical and dental report to the State which monitors services provided to students while at school.
Information for Parents/Guardians
Parents/Guardians are educated and informed of the availability and variety of health services for their children.
School nurses and school nurse practitioners work with private physicians and community health centers to assist parents with finding medical services needed for their student. Parents/Guardians are kept informed of screenings performed to determine if additional services are needed. School Dental Hygienists perform screenings at specified grades and examinations are performed by the Dental Consultant when needed or recommended.
School Nurse Practitioners provide sports physicals and state mandated physicals at grades determined by the State, at no cost, to students with parental consent, which determines if students are medically capable to participate in middle school and high school athletics.
The District encourages care coordination between school nurses and students’ medical and therapeutic providers by offering the opportunity for parents/guardians to complete an Authorization for Release of Protected Health Information (PHI).
Health Services staff consult and collaborate with teachers and other school and school-based Out-of-School Time (OST) staff regarding pertinent student health information such as injuries, allergies, and chronic health conditions.
Information is shared with private physicians and dentists when follow-up care or a referral is needed.
Other care coordination supports are available to District students, such as the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile and Vision to Learn, which identifies students in need of glasses after an eye exam.