Recently, the New York School-Based Health Alliance has reached out to School-Based Health Center (SBHC) staff to share their experiences working in New York SBHCs this past year. Below are some responses we felt were important to highlight and show our appreciation for our SBHC staff!
"SBHC services during a pandemic has definitely been a major transition. One, that I think we took it in stride and was able to continue great work through the use of telehealth. Our mental health division was able to transition to telehealth a week and medical shortly after. We have continued to service our school community due to collaborating with school administration, guidance counselors and key players such as the PTA. We were able to send messages directly to students and parents to inform them of our services and the ways to connect us"
"The telehealth experience and my patient's smiles, have brought me joy and optimism for our future!"
"The SBHC functioned as a family with everyone having their piece of the puzzle to function. The most important thing was to keep the connection between the staff, faculty, students and parents. This was done through regular meetings with the SBHC staff and the school. We remained part of the planning team keeping the school informed about the services we as a staff could offer in a timely fashion. The information was disseminated through various ways of communication, an email was set up for parents and teachers could express their thoughts and ask questions. The pandemic showed the strengths and flexibility of the staff to adapt to the change."
“In Staten Island, there are not many options available to them, this experience has taught us that there are different ways to do things. Instead of simply waiting for the kids to come to the clinic [we’re] thinking about different ways we can outreach. We’ve been trying to accommodate our kids as much as possible in the safest way possible during the pandemic. Meeting up with the kids and being able to give them a service that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to get during this crisis – that was really a highlight for us.”
"Our SBHC at UR, SON made adjustments quickly to continue to provide the highest level of care to our patients/youth in Rochester, NY. Our team was flexible and worked diligently in outreach and incorporating telehealth within a week. In addition, we found a jewel amidst the covid-19 pandemic by increased engagement with parents/guardians. We remain dedicated with an active presence to our patients, community and school partners at East High School and Northeast & Northwest (Frederick Douglass Campus) to ensure we continue to provide medical and mental health services."
Are you a staff member of a SBHC in New York? If so, we would love to hear from you! Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to share your experiences and testimonials with us.