State officials recognized the work of Family First Health Center in coordinating school-based health services as an outreach for students who may not otherwise be able to access dental, medical and vision care.
“Family First Health’s school-based health center is working to reduce barriers for families by providing critically needed services directly in school so that all young people, no matter their zip code, have equal opportunity to learn and grow,” said Val Arkoosh, secretary of the state Department of Human Services, in a news release after a visit to York City’s Hannah Penn K-8 School last week.
Hannah Penn K-8 is the location of a satellite office that provides students with a variety of services. Health officials pointed to the partnership that helped create the center as a potential model for increasing health care access.
“As a pediatrician, I’ve seen first-hand how school-based health clinics help children who otherwise may have gaps in their healthcare get the medical, behavioral, dental and vision services they need,” said Debra Bogen, the state’s acting health secretary, in the news release.
The Family First Health Center is open Monday through Friday with varying hours and offers health services to students. Adult and pediatric care are available as well as health exams, immunizations, preventative care and more, according to the center’s website.
This health center has Spanish interpreters on staff and trained staff members that assess eligibility for insurance assistance programs, in addition to various on-call staff to deal with emergencies 24/7.
In 2020, the health center received $2 million in grant funding from the United Health Foundation that allowed Family First Health to “significantly expand” its offerings, according to the state officials. The health center first opened in 1997 with help from the city, the school district and WellSpan Health.
The 2020 grant also funds health navigators who get families connected to more social services and home visits.