Hannah Penn Middle School in York might be closing, but the health center located there will remain open.
"They (patients) are concerned with the school closure that we will be closing," said Jolynn Achaj, practice manager for the Hannah Penn Center.
But she said the center will continue to provide medical and dental services to students and the local
community from its office at 415 E. Boundary Avenue in York.
Open since 1997, the center is a collaboration between Family First Health, York Hospital and the York City school district, Achaj explained.
Help for students: While students can remain patients for all services, the downside is that their parents will need to bring them in for appointments, Achaj said.
"This will interfere with their time in the classroom, which we know is not ideal for their education," Achaj said. "Our goal is to keep the students healthy."
Of the 1,500 patients who received medical care last year at the Hannah Penn Center, 140 of them were students at the middle school, Achaj said.
Dental services reached 670 patients at the center, of whom 177 were students, she said.
Insurance: Children up to age 18 are the primary group of patients treated at Hannah Penn Center, and the center accepts most insurance, including Medicaid. Services are available at a reduced fee for those without insurance, but proof of income is required, said Achaj.
All in all, 54 percent of the medical patients and 65 percent of the dental patients are students of the school district.
"The uniqueness of a school-based health center is parents can sign a registration form allowing Family First Health to treat their student during school hours," Achaj said. "Students miss less class time because they can see the dentist and return to class within 30 to 45 minutes."
A school-based health center also allows students who visit the school nurse to see a physician the same day if they are ill or injured, she said.
The city school board decided to close both Hannah Penn Middle School and Edgar Fahs Smith Middle School and convert Davis, Devers, Ferguson, Goode, Jackson and McKinley elementary schools into K-8 schools at part of this year's budget process.
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