The YonkerSpectrum School Health Program (YSHP) is a primary care school-based clinic operating in five Yonkers public schools. Since 1989 the YSHP has provided free, accessible, high quality health services to high risk children and has become an integral component of the Yonkers health care delivery system. The program receives funding by the New York State Department of Health, HRSA Bureau of Primary Health; in kind services and financial support from Saint Joseph’s and in-kind services from the Yonkers Public Schools.
YSHP serves Martin Luther King, Jr., Academy, Enrico Fermi School for the Performing Arts, Eugenio Maria de Hostos Microsociety, Rosemarie Ann Siragusa School and Cedar Place School. The YSHP provides a full array of primary health services, including:
Diagnosis and treatment of acute and minor health problems
- Routine care of children with chronic conditions such as asthma, obesity and diabetes
- Complete health histories
- Comprehensive physical examinations
- Laboratory testing (hemoglobin, urinalysis, lead screening)
- Developmental screening
- Health counseling
- Dental preventive services
Additional services focus on health education in areas such as managing asthma, nutrition, substance abuse, accident prevention, personal hygiene, normal growth and development, and first aid.
A part-time nurse practitioner and a full-time health facilitator staff four clinics with support from a family practice consultant. Enrico Fermi supports a full-time nurse practitioner and health facilitator. The school system complements these services by providing a school nurse and a part-time school health aide.
Currently there are five nurse practitioners providing health care services to children enrolled in the YonkersSpectrum program. There is a health facilitator at each of the clinics on a full-time basis and they are responsible for registering the children, maintaining medical records and recording billing information. The health facilitator also attends to minor complaints that present to the clinic that could be appropriately managed without medical assistance. The health facilitators are certified in CPR and basic first aid. The consulting family practice physician is a faculty member at Saint Joseph’s Department of Family Medicine and available for two to three hours per week for on-site consultation and referral. This physician also is available for telephone consultation when not at the school.
Laboratory services are provided by Saint Joseph’s. If laboratory testing is required, the specimen is obtained at the school health clinic and transported to the hospital’s lab on the same day. Children who need x-rays or other diagnostic procedures are referred to the appropriate department within the hospital. The nurse practitioner provides the parent with a hospital requisition and the parent accompanies the child to the hospital.
Continuity of care is assured during non-school hours, holidays, weekends and vacations through Saint Joseph’s Family Health Center. The nurse practitioners can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week via a beeper and are credentialed to see patients at the Family Health Center. Emergency telephone contact with the collaborating or covering physician is available on a 24-hours basis through the primary care back up system developed for the Family Health Center. The procedure is outlined in the brochure that parents receive when they enroll in YSHP.