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Health Care for a Child from Columbia
*Photos reflect the spirit of CFA and are not of any individuals associated with these stories
Young Cecelia arrived from Columbia in 2017 with multiple health concerns that included a broken tooth, head lice, and an ongoing ear infection. She had no health insurance and no primary care doctor. Fortunately, her elementary school had a Child & Family Agency School-Based Health Center (SBHC). Upon entering school Cecelia received her first ever physical there, and her health issues were addressed at minimal charge, including a $200 medication for her severe ear infection. The physical revealed that Cecilia had been exposed to TB, so a referral was placed to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital’s Infectious Disease Clinic for immediate follow-up.
Acclimating and transitioning to a new country is traumatic under any circumstances, and Cecilia awoke one night with severe abdominal pains. Her parents took her to the local emergency room (her only other access to healthcare). She was treated for a kidney stone and went home with multiple medications and instructions in unfamiliar English. Child & Family Agency helped Cecelia and her Mother understand how to use the medication properly and not miss school.
The School-Based Health Center at Cecelia’s school proved vital, because she does not qualify for health insurance, has limited transportation, and cannot afford out of pocket medical expenses.
Child & Family Agency operates 13 School-Based Health Centers in New London, Groton, Stonington and Waterford. Each is staffed by a licensed nurse practitioner and mental health clinician. Together these health care professionals provide confidential services to students on site. Last year 5988 students were enrolled in Child & Family Agency’s SBHCs. Of these, 3302 students used the services with 14,850 visits. To Learn more about SBHCs click here.
Funding for School-Based Health Centers is provided through state grants, which have been reduced over the past few years. Child & Family Agency has been forced to close five SBHCs. We are currently raising funds to build our endowment to secure all CFA programs and services including SBHCs. Please consider a donation to our Endowment fund here.
*At Child and Family Agency we respect everyone who comes to us for help – and many are working toward a fresh start in life. So while their stories are true, client names, identifying details, and images may have been changed to protect their privacy. Thank you for understanding.