School Based Health Center

The School Based Health Center (SBHC) is a collaboration between the Lakeland and Post Falls School Districts and Heritage Health. The SBHC is a mobile health center that visits various locations around the school district on a rotating schedule and welcomes students of all ages as well as all community members. This is Idaho’s first School Based Health Center, and a tremendous opportunity for students, their families and relatives to access quality healthcare close to home.

The goal of the School Based Health Center is to meet students and other patients where they are and reduce barriers to healthcare. The SBCH provides important primary, preventative and early intervention healthcare services, as well as comprehensive health assessments, medication, vision screenings, treatment of both acute and chronic illness, health education and mental health.

The SBHC, just like any other Heritage Health Center, will bill insurance whenever possible in order to sustain the program. However, students will always receive care, regardless of ability to pay.

School Based Health Center services include:

  • Diagnosing and Treating Injury and Illness
  • Comprehensive Physical Exams
  • Sports Physicals
  • Screenings (blood pressure and vision)
  • Laboratory Tests
  • Immunizations
  • Mental or Emotional Health Services
  • Referrals to Specialty Services as Needed

The School Based Health Center is staffed by an experienced Heritage Health provider who is dedicated to creating a safe and confidential environment for all patients.

For more information about the SBHC, its services and schedule, please contact Gina Prindle, School Based Health Center Director, at (208) 661-1603 or send us an   email.

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A school-based health center (SBHC) is a doctor’s office located in the school or on school property that provides a full range of health care services so students can avoid health-related absences and get support to succeed in the classroom. SBHCs are sponsored and operated by community-based health organizations, hospitals, and similar organizations; and adhere to state and federal laws, policies, procedures and professional standards for the provision of medical and mental health care. The School Based Health Center in the Lakeland School District is sponsored by, Heritage Health in Coeur d’Alene. Heritage Health been serving the community for nearly 30 years and was formerly named Dirne Community Health Center. Heritage Health is a non-profit organization that is controlled by the patients it serves.

School-based health centers reduce barriers that have historically prevented youth from seeking the health services they need including accessibility, cost, transportation, concerns about confidentiality, and apprehension about discussing personal health problems. Since the SBHC is located on or near school property, students can receive health care services and return to learning in their classrooms. Additionally, parents do not need to take time off work to transport the sick student to a doctor.

A physician, nurse practitioner or a physician assistant provide health care. A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has received advanced training and education to care for the general health of most individuals. A physician assistant has also received advanced training to provide health care to members of the community. Both nurse practitioners and physician assistants can prescribe most medications and are specially trained to address the comprehensive health of their patients. Behavioral health services (when available) are provided by a mental health provider such as a social worker, counselor, psychologist, or psychiatric nurse practitioner.

Parents or legal guardians must sign consent forms for their children to receive care. However, under Idaho law, all students can seek emergency medical care; diagnosis and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV; examination for physical or sexual abuse; and substance abuse counseling, confidentially and without parental consent. Counseling is provided to students receiving these services, including guidance in discussing health concerns with parents whenever appropriate.

To enroll in the SBHC, parents or legal guardians must complete and return a Parental Consent Form.

SBHCs provide care to students whether they have insurance. SBHCs do bill private insurance and Medicaid for the services they provide when appropriate.

Enrolling in the SBHC is not mandatory, however, it is strongly encouraged so that all students may have access to quality comprehensive health care. Students enrolled in the SBHC can receive immunizations, comprehensive physical examinations (for sports, working papers and required school physicals), diagnosis and treatment of illnesses and injuries, prescriptions and medication. If a student is not enrolled, the only care that the SBHC can provide is emergency first aid and those services for which minors may consent to their own treatment.

If a student already has a Primary Care Provider (PCP), then the SBHC staff will supplement the care that he or she provides. If necessary, the SBHC staff will communicate with the PCP to make sure that the student receives the best care possible both in and out of school.

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