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Health Center

Westtown’s Health Center is dedicated to the physical and emotional health of the school’s students. During the school year, the Health Center is staffed 24/7 by a team of nurses and a full-time administrative assistant. Students from all three Westtown divisions are served by the health center. A staff physician is on campus two afternoons a week to assess and treat boarding students and is on-call at all times to the health center staff.

Additionally, the Health Center staff includes a full-time Clinical Psychologist and several doctoral-level psychology students who work primarily with Upper School students on either a short-term basis or throughout the year. Westtown students can also request to see an outside therapist. Upon request, a list of outside therapists may be provided to the parent to contact independently.

The Health Center maintains close contact with the Chester County Department of Health in matters of public health. The Health Center also offers flu shots to Upper School students and all faculty and staff.

Health Center Hours

Monday – Thursday: 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Friday: 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

*Registered nurses are on call for all hours outside those listed.

Health Forms

Westtown School requires updated medical information via MAGNUS online medical record annually to be completed no later than August 1st . This includes documentation of a current physical exam as well as updated immunization records. This information allows us to provide optimal care to your child. The acceptable date of the annual physical is done on a rolling calendar year as we understand your health insurance plan’s limitation.

Please take note: Your child may be unable to partake in certain school functions or activities until all medical information is received and up to date. It is your responsibility to update your students health record with pertinent medical information throughout the school year.

Medication

Pennsylvania State law requires appropriate management of medication in the school setting. The medication policy has been developed to ensure the health and safety of all of our students. The Health Center must be notified of all student medications, including prescribed and over-the-counter (OTC medications), inclusive of herbal supplements via their online medical record. Medications brought to campus must be checked in through the health center per school policy.

Any chemical substance whose manufacturing and distribution process is not approved by the FDA will not be administered during school hours by the nursing staff. This includes, but is not limited to, homeopathic remedies, essential oils, herbal preparations and dietary supplements.

Nutritional supplements and performance-enhancing substances are not allowed. Health Center regards and respects the policy statement from the AAP which emphasizes “The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly condemns the use of performance-enhancing substances and vigorously endorses efforts to eliminate their use among children and adolescents.” Therefore, students are discouraged from using nutritional supplements or performance-enhancing products unless there is an explicit medical order from their physician on record in the health center.

Note: Students are NOT ALLOWED to make online purchases/ accept mail delivery of: medication, nutritional/herbal supplements, performance enhancing formulas, weight loss/gain products.

US Boarding Students: Both prescription and certain non-prescription medications are dispensed by an RN from the Health Center daily. Morning and evening timeframes, inclusive of weekends are in place for US boarding students.

US Boarding Students: The Westtown Health Center maintains a long standing relationship with a local pharmacy. Most all of our students ‘ prescriptions and requests for over-the -counter medications are filled here and delivered the same day to our office. All prescriptions and OTC medications and provider prescriptions must be in English otherwise they will not be accepted nor dispensed via the health center .

Students and parents must read and sign all applicable medication forms via their online medical record. Prescribing health care providers must also complete the applicable medication paperwork annually. ALL medication changes will require updated provider paperwork.

We will work with your student to advocate in their self care around their medication compliance . Parental support will be called upon as needed. End of Year- The parent/guardian will be notified of any medication that is to be picked up from school. If medications are not picked up by an adult/ designee at a predetermined time on the last student day of school, the medication will be properly disposal.

ANY MEDICATION THAT IS NOT BROUGHT TO SCHOOL BY A PARENT / DESIGNEE, IS NOT IN THE ORIGINAL CONTAINER, AND DOES NOT HAVE REQUIRED AUTHORIZATION WILL NOT BE ADMINISTERED.

Concussion Management Program

Westtown School takes the health and safety of your child seriously. With increased awareness of concussions and guided by evidence based best practice, we have protocols in place both preventive and in response to a suspected concussion.

We also have a Concussion Management Team with representation from LRC,athletics and the health center in place to discuss specific concussed students and their needs ‘as well as awareness of new research and protocols so we may best care for our students. Other personnel may be brought in as consultants .

Concussion awareness and CDC guidelines are reviewed annually with our coaching staff.

The link to the “CDC/ Heads Up” for more information on concussions can be found on the Westtown Parent Portal.

Health Center Staffing

The health center is staffed by Registered nurses who are on campus 7 days a week. We also have a dedicated Lower School Nurse in the LS building daily. As well as a full time Office Manager and Family Practice Physicians who are on campus two days a week to see boarding students and available 24/7 for consults compliment our wrap around health and wellness services.

Counseling Services

If your child is 14 years or above your child may seek counseling services without parental consent per PA law. Counseling services are available through our clinical psychologist, Dr. Maria Alonso as well as several doctoral students that work under Dr. Alonso’s supervision. If a need for an outside referral arises Dr. Alonso will work with you to assure your child’s mental health needs are met.

Health Insurance

Westtown School requires every student to have valid PA health insurance coverage during the school year.

US Boarding Students only: All international students not covered with valid health insurance may be enrolled in the school’s student health insurance plan UnitedHealthcare at your discretion.

This plan is specially designed for students in Pennsylvania private boarding schools, and ensures your child will receive prompt and effective medical care in the case of illness, accident or medication needs during the school year. Any costs incurred as part of your insurance coverage for medical care are the responsibility of the parent/guardian.

Confidentiality

Parents may be assured that the medical information provided to us is confidential and will remain within the health service. It is extremely important that up-to-date comprehensive health information pertaining to your child’s physical and emotional health be provided in detail. Health information will only be shared on a need-to-know basis, as there are times when the safety, health, and welfare of a child and/or the community necessitate this type of communication.

Additional Information

Air Conditioning: Air conditioners are permitted at the parents discretion. Guerster House and Balderston residence halls are equipped with central air conditioning. The residence halls located in the main building have window units for air conditioning. For fire safety reasons, students may not bring individual room or window air conditioners to the residence halls. Westtown facilities department oversees Westtown window air conditioners. Extensions of use due to certain medical conditions must be requested through the Health Center. Air purifiers are permitted and encouraged.

Epi Pens/ Inhalers: If you child requires an Epi pen and/ or inhaler, please supply them with one to keep on their person while at school. Complete the Self Carry Emergency Medication form found in your child’s EMR for our records. If applicable, also complete the Anaphylaxis and Asthma Action Plans found in your child’s EMR. In the event of an emergency ,stock Epi pens are also available throughout campus.

US Boarding Students

Transportation to Medical Appointments: The Health Center works closely with our transportation department and will assist with transportation arrangements to off-site appointments. A minor fee is associated with this transportation. Options and cost will be discussed at the time of scheduling through the health center Office manager.

Safe2Say Something

Safe2Say Something is a youth violence prevention program run by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. The program teaches students and adults how to recognize warning signs and signals, especially within social media, from individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others and to “say something” BEFORE it is too late. With Safe2Say Something, it’s easy and confidential to report safety concerns to help prevent violence and tragedies. Learn more. 

What is a Concussion

A concussion is a brain injury that:

  • Is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body.
  • Can change the way a student’s brain normally works.
  • Can occur during Practices and/or Contests in any sport.
  • Can happen even if a student has not lost consciousness.
  • Can be serious even if a student has just been “dinged” or “had their bell rung.”

All concussions are serious. A concussion can affect a student’s ability to do schoolwork and other activities (such as playing video games, working on a computer, studying, driving, or exercising). Most students with a concussion get better, but it is important to give the concussed student’s brain time to heal.

If a student believes they may have a concussion

Don’t hide it. Report it. Take time to recover.
Click here for an Concussion Assessment Form you can fill out for your provider.

HEADS UP to Youth Sports
To help ensure the health and safety of young athletes, CDC developed the HEADS UP Concussion in Youth Sports initiative to offer information about concussions to coaches, parents, and athletes involved in youth sports. The HEADS UP initiative provides important information on preventing, recognizing, and responding to a concussion.

How can students prevent a concussion?

Every sport is different, but there are steps students can take to protect themselves.

  1. Use the proper sports equipment, including personal protective equipment. For equipment to properly protect a student, it must be:
    • The right equipment for the sport, position, or activity;
    • Worn correctly and the correct size and fit; and
    • Used every time the student Practices and/or competes.
  2. Follow the Coach’s rules for safety and the rules of the sport.
  3. Practice good sportsmanship at all times.

What should students do if they believe that they or someone else may have a concussion?

  • Students feeling any of the symptoms set forth above should immediately tell their Coach and their parents. Also, if they notice any teammate evidencing such symptoms, they should immediately tell their Coach.
  • The student should be evaluated. A licensed physician of medicine or osteopathic medicine (MD or DO), sufficiently familiar with current concussion management, should examine the student, determine whether the student has a concussion, and determine when the student is cleared to return to participate in interscholastic athletics.
  • Concussed students should give themselves time to get better. If a student has sustained a concussion, the student’s brain needs time to heal. While a concussed student’s brain is still healing, that student is much more likely to have another concussion. Repeat concussions can increase the time it takes for an already concussed student to recover and may cause more damage to that student’s brain. Such damage can have long term consequences. It is important that a concussed student rest and not return to play until the student receives permission from an MD or DO, sufficiently familiar with current concussion management, that the student is symptom-free.
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