Bassett School-Based Health Center earns $5K award from Excellus BCBS

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has named Bassett’s School-Based Health Center (SBHC) program as a 2022 recipient of its $5,000 Community Health Award. Practice Manager Jane Hamilton, RN, and Courtney Graham, FNP, accepted the funding on behalf of SBHC during a visit from Excellus BCBS Utica regional president Eve Van de Wal in June to the Cooperstown SBHC.

Through a competitive application process, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Community Health Awards provide funding to launch, expand and sustain programs and services that promote health. These investments advance health equity by extending the reach of preventive health services or health-promoting programs to vulnerable populations. The health plan’s corporate giving follows all applicable laws and regulations and does not support funding organizations that conflict with its corporate mission, goals, policies or products.

The funding will contribute to the ongoing development of telehealth within the SBHC system. Like many uses of remote meeting technology, telehealth received special attention during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the technology is an essential complement to in-person local providers well beyond its pandemic applications – especially within an SBHC setting.

“Students use video visits to access a variety of pediatric specialties,” explained Hamilton. “This includes tele-psychiatry visits with a psychiatrist; medication follow-ups for ADHD or depression; concussion clearance by a pediatrician; and ongoing management of chronic illnesses, such as asthma and psychotherapy with school-based health mental health clinicians without the need for these specialists to travel to schools throughout the region – or for students to travel to bigger medical centers – practitioners are able to see more patients and students are able to get appointments sooner.”

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