For decades, the medical care at Heritage has been recognized for both the quality and availability of care when compared to other treatment centers. But with the inauguration of the Nurse Case Manager Model, this care has been elevated to an even higher standard which focuses on the individual.
According to the Director of Health Services, Debbie Hamilton, “The Nurse Case Manager (NCM) model fits seamlessly with the Heritage philosophy of building healthy relationships. During their first week at Heritage, each new student meets personally with their NCM and spends time discussing their personal health care plan. The student understands that their NCM is a person he or she can talk to and count on.”
Each Heritage NCM is a full-time nurse who is assigned to 25-30 students. By focusing on “their” students, rather than the entire campus of about 150 students, each NCM can better manage individual medical needs and gain familiarity with chronic conditions such as asthma or diabetes that can greatly affect the well-being and progress of a student. Ideally, the Nurse Case Manager oversees care from admission to discharge. And because they oversee all aspects of the student’s care, they are better able to support healing and strengthen communication with each student’s family.
Additionally, NCMs attend team meetings with all Heritage professionals who work closely with their students. In this way, the NCMs become aware of how their students function at school, in their group homes, and in therapy. With all the pieces in view, the NCM can address a student’s needs in a more holistic manner.
The Heritage Health Services Department is staffed daily from 5:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m., with a 24-hour on-call medical staff, so immediate care is always available. But for long-term ongoing and chronic care, the NCM is an invaluable resource for each Heritage student. Their NCM actually becomes a mentor who spends time promoting healthy living and preventive care. “With our emphasis on education and wellness,” Hamilton stresses, “We are creating individuals who will be able to make healthier choices throughout their life, not just while they are with us at Heritage.”