APALACHIN, NY – A new pilot program seeks to make healthcare more accessible to students in a specialized BOCES program.
A Lourdes primary care mobile van dubbed “Medical On The Move” visited the BOCES West
Learning Center in Apalachin today to offer well-child visits to some of the kids in the Reclaim program.
Reclaim is a special ed program for children with emotional and behavioral challenges serving 66 students in kindergarten through 8th grade from across 15 local school districts.
The idea for the visit came from Reclaim’s Clinical Supervisor Nelly Smith who previously worked for Lourdes.
She says many of the students face barriers to accessing pediatric care and often rely solely on walk-in clinics and emergency rooms for their emergent care.
Smith says the primary care van will be able to offer vaccinations, treatment and management of chronic conditions as well as mental health assessments and access to medications.
“By having access to regular healthcare, where a child can be checked over and monitored, it increases the possibility that some of their emotional and behavioral difficulties that are caused by discomfort in the body could be remedied. And they’d be more successful students, more successful little humans,” says Smith.
Smith says she hopes that the van can visit the school twice a month, if not weekly, with an eventual goal of establishing an on-site clinic within the school, similar to clinics that exist in a pair of Binghamton elementaries.