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School district will continue agreement to provide pupils with healthcare services

FREEHOLD – The Freehold Borough K-8 School District has renewed an agreement with a health provider with the intent of ensuring that the health and well-being of the district’s pupils is maintained.

On Aug. 7, Board of Education members entered into an agreement with the Visiting Nurse Association Health Group (VNAHG), a not-for-profit health provider, for the purpose of providing healthcare services to students for the 2018-19 school year.

According to a resolution, the board approved the submission of a letter of intent to partner with the United Way of Monmouth and Ocean Counties as part of an integrated health impact plan with the purpose of providing in-school access to health services for students during 2017-18. Freehold Borough was a successful applicant to the integrated health impact program to provide nurse practitioner services to students at no cost to the district that school year.

United Way of Monmouth and Ocean Counties representatives indicated their desire to continue the grant services for 2018-19 and the district accepted the services for Freehold Borough students, according to the resolution.

The health services are for all district students and will rotate between the Freehold Learning Center elementary school and the Park Avenue Complex, which houses the Park Avenue Elementary School and the Freehold Intermediate School, according to district administrators.

The VNAHG, according to the resolution, will be responsible for providing advance practice nurses for a maximum of 11 hours per week on the premises of the schools, providing healthcare services to the students, maintenance of records and record keeping for all services provided, providing workers compensation coverage and liability and malpractice insurance coverage for VNAHG employees, along with assuring that VNAHG staff are licensed and qualified to provide the qualified services, and providing regular and periodic billing for services provided.

Healthcare services the VNAHG is responsible for providing to pupils includes, but is not limited to performing a limited number of school entry physicals, sports physicals and work physicals by a nurse practitioner as necessary, assessment and episodic care for children as approved by a parent or guardian, teaching about medication and self-care, consultation with parents, staff and/or faculty regarding student health issues, collaborating with other health professionals, and other nursing activities that are required and agreed to by the Freehold Intermediate School, the school board, parents or guardians and the VNAHG, according to the resolution.

The school district will be responsible for providing the VNAHG with a list of children needing services and with the health policies of the board, providing support on days of operation, assuring appropriate liability coverage for its employees and facilities, and providing appropriate areas within the school for the provision of services, including treatment areas, storage areas and secure filing cabinets for the maintenance of medical records.

There will not be any charge to pupils for the services, according to the resolution. Although the services are sponsored by the United Way of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, the VNAHG may bill Medicaid for services rendered to students. The VNAHG and the district agreed the nurse practitioner’s time will be provided at no cost to the district.

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