BATON ROUGE, LA — Westdale Middle School's Health Center opened over 20 years ago and now after a complete facelift, it has school officials and medical professionals overjoyed.
Children are more prone to injury and infection than adults, which means more visits to the doctor, but for parents, it's sometimes an inconvenience. That's where health centers in schools play a huge role. Sue Catchings who is the CEO for Health Centers in Schools says, "It's is huge deal for parents. Most of the parents form the children that we serve are working and for them to take off from the jobs that they have means that they then lose pay or lose time and that is a huge impact."
Congressman and Doctor, Bill Cassidy, understands the impact these centers make on families. He was there to support Westdale's commitment to keeping kids healthy.
Congressman Bill Cassidy says, "I can tell you if my child had asthma and the choice is between he or she missing 15 days of school, my child's heath is more important- my childs education and my ability to support my family." And at Westdale Middle School they are offering something unique; to help the parents and children not just physically but emotionally.
Sue Catchings says, "Often find we find kids that are in school but have problems, all kinds of challenges and issues, and because we have license clinical social workers working hand in glove with nurses and physicians". And along with keeping the children in school and keeping them healthy, they will receive the best care. Westdale Middle school is one of three school based health centers in East Baton Rouge Parish who have undergone a renovation. The renovations came from a 500,000 dollar grant form the government.