In its continuing effort to make healthcare more accessible, Mount Desert Island Hospital is now providing a Family Nurse Practitioner to Tremont Elementary, Wednesday mornings during the school year.
Through a contractual arrangement between School Union 98 and the Hospital, Pilar Burmeister, FNP, provides students of the school with convenient access to many of the services offered by a physician.
While school nurse Terri Lanpher, RN, provides on-site nursing during the rest of the week, Ms. Burmeister is able to offer a deeper level of services because of her licensure. “I can conduct physicals, diagnose health problems, and prescribe medications,” explained Ms. Burmeister.
Ms. Burmeister is a familiar face to many students and parents of Tremont Elementary, having worked as the school nurse from 2001 to 2002. “Many parents tell me that having a clinic with a provider they know is a benefit,” added Ms. Burmeister.
Another benefit for parents and students is convenience. “Because I can offer many of the same services offered by doctors, parents don’t have to miss work, or delay important health care appointments,” said Ms. Burmeister.
“One of the more important benefits of this program,” explained Dr. Julian Kuffler, Medical Director of the school-based clinics, “is the follow-up for chronic illness that Nurse Practitioners can provide – from diabetes to mental illness. Nurse Practitioners can work with primary care physicians to monitor and care for these students, which will greatly reduce the impact of chronic disease.”
Through a similar contractual arrangement, Ms. Burmeister provides health care services at Pemetic Elementary School when she is not at Tremont, and Family Nurse Practitioner Barbara Logue conducts a clinic at the High School.
“This is part of MDI Hospital’s expanded commitment to get healthcare to those who need it,” emphasized Dr. Kuffler. “We’re taking the practitioner to the patients. Not the other way around.”
All insurances are accepted for the services at Tremont Elementary school-based clinic. For those without insurance, a $10 fee is charged for unlimited visits through the end of the current school year.