Toledo High’s Health Center: Treating the Whole Child Creates a Healthy Child
By Joel Davis
The Toledo School Based Health Center is located downstairs by the lower bus loading zone. The Health Center is open to any Toledo Jr./Sr. High student. However, it is also open to any Toledo elementary students, and also Eddyville Charter School students. Any of them can come in to the Health Center if they need to.
The Health Center provides numerous services for students. First, it is a safe place to come to for information concerning any kind of health issue or problem, both physical and/or mental. For example, they provide simple health checks. Students and families with or without insurance can also come down to the Health Center. If students or families need school supplies, or have an injury, someone at the Health Center can help them. They also function as a doctor’s clinic, so students won’t have to travel far distances (for example to Newport or Corvallis) and miss class if they have a doctor’s appointment. The Health Center will also be able to get students in quicker than a doctor’s office.
There are five people who work in the Health Center. Those individuals are Robin Morgan, Cheryl Denbleyker, Kelli Brugh, Tami Martin, and Crystal Pickner. Each one of them specializes in different areas and needs.
Mrs. Morgan is the Health Center’s advocate. She started working at the Center last year (2015). She can help students and families with health care issues and personal hygiene (for example, she can provide things like deodorant, combs, and brushes). She can also help students if they are hungry. Students can go down there and she will give them a healthy snack like a granola bar or a piece of fruit like an apple. She also helps with eyesight, dental checks, and financial problems. If a student gets a referral, and he or she has not been working in class, the Health Center will check to see if the student needs to see a nurse practitioner, a counselor, or an addictions counselor. Clearly, Mrs. Morgan is a vital part of the Health Center and is involved with a wide range of needs.
Mrs. Denbleyker is a certified medical assistant and has worked at the Center for three years. Mrs. Denbleyker schedules appointments and checks patient’s vitals. She also can draw blood, test urine samples, collect throat swabs, process paperwork, and register patients. She also directs parents to the appropriate care they need, as well as handling all the quality control in the lab.
Mrs. Brugh is a child and family therapist and has been at the school for six years. Brugh conducts counseling and mental health exams. So if a student is having problems, or if they have anxiety, or if they are dealing with depression, they can go see her.
Mrs. Martin is the Center’s Family Nurse Practitioner (F.N.P.). This is her first year. Martin provides education and medical services; she also tends infected wounds. For example, if a student has an infected toenail, she can get that removed. She can also write prescriptions for certain things and will discuss health issues with students. For example, she can discuss acne problems with students: its causes, what they can do to prevent a break out, and how or what they can use to treat it.
Ms. Pickner is a registered nurse who has been here for six years. Pickner does immunizations for students who haven’t gotten their flu shots or boosters. She treats minor skin burns or irritations that are within her field of training. If it is an issue that is beyond her abilities, she will help transport the student to another facility. She can help students who are having an allergic reaction by using Antihistamine, and give out pain medication for dental pain, cramps, or headaches. However, before she can give students any of these remedies, she needs to do an assessment to make sure that the student is not injured or sick.
Most students come in for flu shots, sports physicals, headaches, muscle aches, minor burns or abrasions, dental pain, or just to schedule appointments.
What do they like most about their jobs? One of the things that Mrs. Morgan likes the most about her job is that she can help students get what they need. Mrs. Denbleyker also likes helping students get the help that they need. Mrs. Brugh loves working with kids. She also likes to help kids who might not be able to get the proper care any other way. Mrs. Martin likes to positively affect and change things in her little part of the world. Ms. Pickner loves that she can see students and that she can have the opportunity to set students up for the health services they need to live a healthier life.
The Health Center gets their fundings from grants they receive and from charging insurance. For example, this year they received a grant of $2,500 dollars from Walmart and a grant of $3,000 dollars from the Siletz Tribe.
There are only certain times of the week that students can go down to the Health Center to see specific staff or if they have an appointment with someone. This is because they all work different shifts during the week. Mrs. Morgan is there all week, Mrs. Denbleyker is there Mondays thru Wednesdays, Mrs. Brugh works here Mondays and Wednesdays, Mrs. Martin is here on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and Ms. Pickner works here on Tuesdays.
Last year, the Health Center helped Toledo students around 1,800 times, which means they helped most students between one to three times. Not only do they work here, they also work at the Health Centers in Newport, Waldport, and Lincoln City. In total, they have helped Lincoln County School District students around, or possibly over, 72,000 times since last year.
In addition to the plethora of services they provide (from mental health to physical health, from aches and pains to everyday school supplies), the Health Center also provides birth control (for both men and women) as well as family planning services.
So, the Toledo High Health Center is a full health clinic, providing nearly any and all health-related services one might think of. If something is hurting you, or you need them to help you out with something health-wise, or if you missed lunch and you’re really hungry, the Health Center is there to help.