FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
St. Mary’s County Public Schools
St. Mary’s County Health Department
St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office
LEONARDTOWN, MD (February 3, 2021) – The St. Mary’s County Equity Task Force is pleased to announce the opening of the first school-based health center facilities in St. Mary’s County, located at Spring Ridge Middle School in Lexington Park and at Margaret Brent Middle School in Helen. Community members are invited to watch the Virtual Ribbon Cutting for these school-based health centers online via the:
• St. Mary’s County Public Schools YouTube Channel
• St. Mary’s County Health Department Facebook Page
The school-based health centers will initially offer school nursing, behavioral health services, preventive care and health education programming. Future plans for these centers include specific primary care services, key to improving health outcomes for students who face barriers to accessing health care.
“Lack of consistent health care and accessible mental health services can create barriers to regular school attendance,” said Dr. Scott Smith, Superintendent of St. Mary’s County Public Schools. “School Based Health Centers and our proactive partnership with the St. Mary’s County Health Department can address this need.”
"We are eager to get these School-Based Health Centers operating immediately to support our COVID-19 pandemic response and students as they return to school.” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “In the future, these health centers will serve as primary care access points for students, school staff, and the surrounding community.”
“In addition to our School Resource Officers’ presence at these locations, this initiative provides increased health services and improved substance abuse prevention for our youth, helping them to build better foundations for adulthood,” Sheriff Tim Cameron added.
On June 29, 2020, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, St. Mary’s County Public Schools, and the St. Mary’s County Health Department signed a Joint Resolution to Advance Equity locally in regards to public safety, education and health. Learn more at www.smchd.org/equity.