St. Luke’s University Health Network and the Pocono Mountain School District are pleased to announce a comprehensive health care services partnership that will provide services for Pocono Mountain’s students and employees.
The 10-year contract includes integrated health care components beyond the traditional sports medicine field.
“We are appreciative of the support St. Luke’s has provided to our District since they opened the hospital in Bartonsville,” said Dr. Elizabeth Robison, Superintendent of Schools. “Our partnership is strongly student-focused and will continue to grow and expand over the next 10 years for the benefit of our students.”
Pocono Mountain School Board President Rusty Johnson said, “St. Luke’s proposal stood out because they not only offered strong sports medicine support for our student-athletes, but they also presented a strong whole-school concept for student support with more access to behavioral health and other care for our students.”
“We would like to thank Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Robison, School Board President Rusty Johnson and members of the board and staff for their vision and commitment to the students, student-athletes, staff and community for allowing us to be their community health care provider,” said Greg Leh, Senior Director of Sports Medicine Relationships for St. Luke’s.
The partnership goes beyond the traditional sports medicine role to address a full range of medical and health needs.
Highlights of the contract include:
- On-site Sports Performance Coaches at both Pocono Mountain East and West integrated with new Teambuilldr Strength & Conditioning software
- Six full-time certified Athletic Trainer to cover the junior high and senior high schools
- Athletic training supplies
- Program manager
- Team physicians
- Dedicated Physical Therapist
- Access to fellowship-trained physician
- Nutrition services
- On-site emergency action plans
- Community sponsorship for the school
- COVID-19 Action Plans
- Behavioral medicine support and Tier 3
- Comprehensive health action plans for students, staff and administration
- St. Luke’s Adopt A School initiatives
“We are doing everything we can to prevent illness and injuries in this school community,” said John Hauth, Senior Network Administrator for Sports Medicine Relationships at St. Luke’s.
“One of the functional parts of sports medicine aspects is the access to our team of fellowship-trained physicians, licensed Athletic Trainers, sports performance coaches and physical therapists.
“In addition, we have integrated our outstanding colleagues in community health and preventative medicine as well as behavioral medicine/health so that it includes mental health support, nutrition and school or community care in conjunction with the school to address disparities that exist in the Pocono Mountain school community.”
More and more school districts are seeking behavior health support beyond that provided by the local Intermediate Units.
“St. Luke’s offered Pocono Mountain School District the services of a certified behavioral specialist and a certified trauma therapist … to accommodate more of our students who need these services,” said Beth DeLay, Director of Health/Physical Education, Guidance and Nursing Services for Pocono Mountain.
“The need for emotional and mental health services for our students increases every year, so having these specialist available to our students will provide an important life safety net for our students who are struggling with depression and other trauma-related illnesses.”
“There may be situations where we may provide supplementation for their current psycho-therapy providers or where we will become their provider,” said Jody McCloud- Missmer, Administrator – Behavioral Health for St. Luke’s.
“We offer Tier 3 services – the most intense – to be supplementing any Tier 1 or 2 services they need assistance with. We will treat not only the whole student body, but make a concerted effort to offer therapeutic services to any school district member, whether that is a coach, a teacher or a cafeteria worker. We are committed to the whole community within the school.”
The Adopt A School model is a partnership between St. Luke’s and local schools to improve the health of students with initial goals focusing on improving health outcomes comprehensively through medical, dental, vision and integrated behavioral health.
The Adopt a School model includes services and initiatives such as Mobile Youth Health Services operating as free medical, dental and vision vans, as well as Mental Health service, Healthy Living Initiatives (Get Your Tail on the Trail, Live Your Life, School Gardens), Literacy Programs (Dr. Seuss Day, Reading Rocks), and Youth Development.
“We are excited St. Luke’s will continue to partner with our schools through its Adopt A School program,” Dr. Robison said.
Last year, St. Luke’s provided $60,000 worth of mobile dental care free to Pocono Mountain students, and has provided free immunization clinics for the last two years.
Rajika E. Reed, Ph.D. MPH, M.Ed, the Senior Network Director of Epidemiology & Strategy for the Community Health & Preventative Medicine Department of St. Luke’s, said that ensuring students are connected to vision services is also part of the Adopt A School model. This model really supports schools being the hub of communities.
“When we go into a new school we do an assessment of the school district to understand the needs of the community,” Dr. Reed said. “Then we form relationships with folks in the school district so that we can work in partnership to address the needs.”
The contract begins with the 2020-2021 school year.