Valley Health Care offers to staff in-school clinics

Representatives from Valley Health Care Inc. offered the company’s services to the Randolph County Board of Education.

Mike Hinchman, CEO of Valley Health Care, Inc., addressed members of the board Monday, offering to set up in-school clinics at five locations, should the board need their services.

“We have two locations, and are very close to the schools,” Hinchman said. “Our Elkins office is two houses down from Third Ward Elementary and our Mill Creek office is beside of George Ward Elementary and Tygarts Valley Middle/High School. Elkins Middle School is less than half a mile from the Elkins office, while Elkins High School is about two miles from the Elkins site.”

Hinchman said Valley Health Care was established in 1991, and between the two offices, has 24,000 patient encounters per year. He said a tremendous amount of Randolph County students are patients of Valley Health Care, and the clinic sponsors health fairs in the schools and provides free sports clinics each year.

“We have a natural interest in the community and just wanted board members to know if they need our services, we would be willing to collaborate with them,” Hinchman said. “But we want to be sure the collaboration is school board driven. We would be willing to help if that is what the board wants.”

Hinchman said such an arrangement would offer students “seamless continuity” because many of the students are already patients, and because Valley Health Care Inc. is already present in the county.

Community Care of West Virginia spoke with the Randolph County Board of Education members Feb. 4 about providing at least four school-based health clinics in Randolph County Schools. During the group’s parent informational meeting Feb. 21 at Tygarts Valley High School, guidance counselor Mark Allen publicly asked why the local clinic in Mill Creek – Valley Health Care Inc. – could not come into the school and offer services.