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County schools finalize one-year deal with Meritus for health services

Services to be provided for $2,737,458 or less for the 2012-12 school year

August 08, 2012|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com

The agreement for Meritus Medical Center Inc. to provide school health services in Washington County Public Schools, starting with the new school year, has been finalized.

The agreement is for one year with two possible one-year extensions, according to a copy of the agreement shared withThe Herald-Mailon Tuesday.

The cost of the program for the first year, from Aug. 15, 2012, to Aug. 14, 2013, is not to exceed $2,737,458, according to the agreement. The first day of school is Aug. 22.

The Washington County Health Department has provided school health service employees for years, but the Washington County Commissioners cut $3.3 million for that program in June. The commissioners made the cut to free up money to pay for the portion of teacher pension costs the state is passing to local jurisdictions.

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According to the agreement and as required by state law, Meritus will provide a physician to administer the school health program.

Budget calculations attached to the agreement list 24 registered nurses — one per cluster of schools, and 30 licensed practical nurses or certified nursing assistants.

Meritus Health spokeswoman Nikki Jovel said Wednesday those are proposed numbers, but have not been finalized.

Meritus has hired most of the staff for the school health program, according to a Tuesday email from Jovel.

Training and orientation has started, she said.

Meritus has hired several nurses who previously worked in the school program, she said.

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