Scioto Health Plan and CareHere LLC hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 1 to celebrate the opening of Scioto Advantage health and wellness center located on Rhodes Ave in New Boston, Ohio.
“This process has been a year and a half adventure that began with this gorgeous building and an idea,” stated Sandy Mers, South Central Ohio Educational Service Center Superintendent, preceding the ceremonial ribbon cutting.
Mers went on to offer a special word of gratitude to Steve Hamilton, New Boston’s village administrator, for initially helping the SCOESC find the owner of the building, as well as thanks for Mayor Junior Williams and the New Boston Council for their support of the project.
The unique center will provide primary and preventative health care services to school employees and their dependents covered by the Scioto Health Plan, which includes ten Southeastern Ohio school districts as well as the SCOESC. Types of services offered will include, but are not limited to, routine blood work, annual health screenings, immunizations, allergy treatment, minor illness visits—such as colds, flu, upper respiratory infections and so on, wound care, minor stitches, well-woman exams, well-child check-ups, chronic disease management, health coaching services as well as bus driver, sports, and other school-related physicals. Additionally, there will be an in-house generic prescription dispensary; and, all of this will be provided at no cost to the patients.
Appointments can be scheduled online or over the phone. These appointments will not be double-booked to allow little to no wait time for the patient. All records will be digitally maintained in accordance with HIPPA; thus, patients can be assured their records are private and secure.
CareHere LLC, a company based in Tennessee, will manage Scioto Advantage. Anthony Dallas, MD, chief medical officer for CareHere, stated that he was, “excited to be here, and excited about the partnership with such a great team.” He further added that he felt, “honored to be part of a group of people that want to give to their employees, and make differences in their lives long-term.”
Staff members to Scioto Advantage will include: Stacy Carter, RN; Melody Craycraft, NP; Lisa Turoczy, Director of Clinical Services; and Melanie Sharp, Senior Director of Operations.
According to Mers, “Scioto Health Plan is our self-funded insurance consortium.” She went on to explain that the SHP controls the decisions and, “do our best to take care of our employees and their families.”
Mers added that the SHP is a part of a larger consortium, Optimal Health Initiatives, a not-for-profit health plan. This plan offers medical and dental coverage for the benefit of school districts across three southeastern Ohio counties, including Bloom-Vernon, Clay, Green, Manchester, Minford, New Boston, Northwest, Oak Hill, Scioto County Career Technical Center, Sciotoville, SCOESC, Valley, Washington-Nile, and Wheelersburg schools.
Mers gives special credit to Elaine Shafley, Executive Director of OHI, for initiating the idea and, “helping to make this happen.” In addition to Shafley, Mers credits both Andy Riehl, ESC treasurer, and the SCOESC board for partnering and supporting the project throughout its full development. Moreover, Mers had high praise for Kirk Donges of TSHD architects and Rob Seaman, project manager, who was “so detailed oriented.”
Other speakers at the ribbon cutting ceremony included former Clay Superintendent and former Chairman of Scioto Advantage , Tony Mantell; Anthony Dallas, MD of CareHere; and, New Boston Village Administrator, Steve Hamilton.
“What we have here is something so very special, that you don’t see in very many places,” stated an enthusiastic Mantell. “When you think about all of our people—great employees who work for their school districts. The fact that they can come here at no out-of-pocket expense to them—what a great benefit!”
“Our employees deserve this,” added Mers following the ribbon cutting ceremony. “Appointments are already scheduled.”
Currently, the Scioto Advantage hours are 6:00 am to 6:00 pm, but will be adapted, according to Mers, based on patient need.