Children's Health, Kelsey Hospital, United Hospital
Spectrum Health expands behavioral health services for students
Telemedicine clinics open at Tri County, Montabella and Vestaburg High Schools.
GREENVILLE, Mich., September 23, 2020 – Responding to the unique needs of teenagers, Spectrum Health has partnered with Montcalm County school districts to bring on-site behavioral health services into area high schools.
Beginning the week of September 28, students at Tri County and Montabella High Schools will have access to behavioral health therapy in a private room via videoconference without leaving the school. Vestaburg High School will roll out the program in early October.
Montabella Schools Superintendent Shelly Millis said she is excited about the program.
“We are thrilled about this new opportunity for the students at Montabella,” Millis said. “Mental health is a crucial part of the development of young people and we are very fortunate for this opportunity to provide support for our students. Spectrum Health has shown to be a leader in innovative ways to provide this essential support to our community that students might not have access to otherwise.”
Students will be referred by high school staff and will coordinate a visit through a Spectrum Health clinical staff member on site. James VanderLaan, Licensed Master Social Worker, will then see students face-to-face using telemedicine technology.
Greenville High School is in its second year offering the services after being the pilot program last school year. Similar services are being planned for all high schools in Montcalm County.
“We’re so excited to expand this program and help even more young people,” said Katie Thorsen, virtual health specialist at Spectrum Health United and Kelsey Hospitals. “Based on our experience at Greenville High School and in talking to school personnel, we know there’s a real need to provide these services.”
“We know teenagers today have unique pressures and needs and we’re happy to be able to bring these services to students throughout Montcalm County,” said Andrea Leslie, president of Spectrum Health United, Kelsey, Big Rapids and Reed City Hospitals.
Parents or guardians do not have to be present for a student to be seen in the clinic, however, to bill insurance companies for the service, a consent form must be signed. The clinic will not prescribe medicine or provide pregnancy termination counseling.
Carson City-Crystal and Central Montcalm are set to begin in 2021, and Lakeview schools have adolescent behavior health services through a Spectrum Health partnership at the Lakeview Youth Clinic.
The program is funded in part by the Spectrum Health Foundation United and Kelsey Hospitals, including providing funds for students who do not qualify for insurance.
Spectrum Health System, a not-for-profit, integrated health system, is committed to improving the health and wellness of our communities. We live our mission every day with 31,000 compassionate professionals, 4,600 medical staff experts, 3,300 committed volunteers and a health plan serving 1 million members. Our talented physicians and caregivers are privileged to offer a full continuum of care and wellness services to our communities through 14 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, 150 ambulatory sites and telehealth offerings. We pursue health care solutions for today and tomorrow that diversify our offerings. Locally-governed and based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our health system provided $585 million in community benefit in fiscal year 2019. Thanks to the generosity of our communities, we received $30 million in philanthropy in the most recent fiscal year to support research, academics, innovation and clinical care. Spectrum Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM.