Randolph BOE questions healthcare provider

Mike Hinchman, CEO of Valley Health Care Inc., answered questions from the Randolph County Board of Education Tuesday about his offer to set up in-school health clinics in five schools.

Hinchman addressed the board March 18 and was asked to return Tuesday, since his initial presentation was short because of multiple delegations during that meeting.

At the March 18 meeting, Hinchman said Valley Health Clinic has a natural interest in the community and wanted board members to know they would be willing to collaborate if services were needed. Hinchman added that such an arrangement would offer students “seamless continuity” because many students are already patients.

“In your original presentation, you said a doctor would be in place for two hours,” board member Harvey Taylor said. “But my main worry is that might not be enough time.”

Hinchman said a physician would be available as needed.

“If the need was for a physician for five hours, we would provide a physician for five hours,” Hinchman said. “But we do not want someone to sit around waiting for patients.”

Taylor asked if Hinchman planned to add more staff or use those staff members already in place at Valley Health Clinic.

“Both,” Hinchman said. “We are only 100 yards away from the (Tygarts Valley) high school and at first we will do a couple of hours. We want to take walk-in persons out of the clinic and put them into the school clinic. This will be driven by the needs of the school.”

Board president Lisa Wamsley asked if the person seeing patients in school-based clinics would be a doctor or physician assistant, and asked if Valley Health Clinic applied for a grant.

“Mostly physician assistants, but not limited to that,” Hinchman said. “It would be whoever is free. We did apply for a grant.”

Taylor said the county bus drivers need physicals each year, and asked if the staff at Valley Health Clinic could come to the bus garage or the county office to offer these physicals. Hinchman said he would look into that possibility and let him know.

“We are here to help you.” Hinchman said.

Board members agreed they liked the idea of using a local service.

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.

In other business, the Randolph County Board of Education took the following actions:

  • Voted to approve the levy order and rate sheet.
  • Voted to increase the school bus trip mileage rate from 15 cents per mile to 50 cents per mile.
  • Reviewed an audit report. Brad Smith, Randolph County director of finance, said there were no issues with the audit.

The next meeting for the Randolph County Board of Education is slated for 6 p.m. May 6 at the central office.