Health Care/Wellness

Wellness means taking responsibility for one's own health by learning how to stay healthy, practicing good health habits and responding to your body's warning signs before something serious happens. People can be healthier, feel better, look better and live longer if they take care of their health today. A person's health depends on many factors. Some cannot be completely controlled, like heredity, sex, environment and age, but others can be controlled, including diet, exercise, rest, stress, bad habits and attitude.

Children need to be introduced to practicing good health habits at an early age. Good nutrition habits, hygiene, exercise, and adequate rest all contribute to wellness. Young people can use encouragement, support and education to take responsibility for their own wellness.

Children may need health care services for a variety of reasons. Youth may need a physical exam for sports, a check-up for school, to maintain healthy teeth or to get working papers. Children may just need to see someone when they have a cold, sore throat or other medical problem.

Immunization Law

Immunizing children prevents them from getting certain childhood diseases. New York State Public Health Law - Section 2164 requires that every child present proof of immunization upon entering a school. The following chart identifies what immunizations are REQUIRED, and when, for school attendance:

  2 Mo. 4 Mo. 6 Mo. 15 Mo. 4-5 Yrs. Every 10 Yrs.
Polio OPV X X   X X  
Tetanus X X X X X  
Pertussis DTP            
(Whooping Cough)            
Mumps MMR       X X  
Diptheria Adult           X
Booster td            
Haernophilus X X X X    
Influenza (HIB)            
Hepatitus B X X X X X  

There are two exemptions to the law, namely:

  1. A physician's statement to the effect that immunization against one or more of the five diseases would be detrimental to the health of the child.
  2. A written statement subscribed and affirmed as true by a parent or guardian that the parent or parents or guardian is a bonafide member of a specified recognized religious organization whose teachings oppose the administration of immunizing agents against the five diseases.

(Source: New York State Department of Health and the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee.)

Costs and Insurance

Most health care providers charge fees. Many health insurance plans cover part or all of the costs. Check what your plan covers. You may be able to receive some health care services free or based upon how much you can pay (often called a "sliding fee scale") from the providers listed below. Check with the clinic about cost. If you have no insurance coverage and are unemployed, you may be eligible for Medicaid.

Free or low cost health insurance is now available to young children who do not have insurance coverage. New York State has recently implemented a new insurance program that's designed to keep children healthy. The new program, called Child Health Plus, provides essential preventive and out-patient services for children up to the age of 13. Children who are enrolled in Child Health Plus will be entitled to basic out-patient care that is covered in full, including such services as well-child visits, office visits, ambulatory surgery, laboratory testing, x-rays, emergency services and insulin. Prescription drugs are also covered with a $3 co-payment.

The cost of enrolling in Child Health Plus depends upon family income. For detailed enrollment information and specific costs based on your income and family size, contact the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Customer Service Department at (716) 325-3630, or call toll free 1-800-462-6828. Representatives will answer questions you may have about Child Health Plus.

Parental Consent

Most clinics need parental consent to see a teenager for a medical problem. Parental consent is not needed for treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, (i.e. gonorrhea, syphilis or AIDS), pregnancy tests, contraceptives (birth control), abortions, or for substance abuse treatment.


If you have an emergency at night or on the weekend, contact your doctor first (if you have one) or the hospital nearest you if you have no doctor.

In case of accidental poisoning or medical emergency call:

  • Poison Control Center, (800)333-0542
  • Medical Emergency, 911

Further information can be obtained from:

AIDS Rochester Inc.
Provides case management and education regarding HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases as well as prevention education and referrals.

American Red Cross - West Ontario Office
Youth volunteer opportunities including Red Cross Youth Crew; instruction in first aid, CPR, aquatics, babysitting.

Self-administered pregnancy tests, professional referrals when called for and individualized services.

Building Blocks Comprehensive Services
(585) 393-0554
Provides Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy, service coordination, and a range of other services including pre-school programs for children from birth to age 5.

FF Thompson Hospital Family Health and Education
Baby and You pregnancy education classes and other programs related to childbirth.

Finger Lakes WIC (Women, Infants and Children)
(585)394-9240 or (888)942-6886 toll-free
WIC provides nutrition information and supplemental foods for 0-5 year olds and pre-natal, breast feeding and postpartum women.

Geneva Community Health
(315) 781-8448
Provides accessible and affordable medical and dental services.

(800)310-1160 or TDD: (585)275-2700
Lifeline provides a variety of support and referral services including access to other agencies.

Ontario County Brain Injury Program
(585) 394-7500

Ontario County Department of Social Services
(585)396-4060 or (877)814-6907 toll free
The agency's services are geared toward families and include financial assistance and family and children services including child protective, foster care and preventative services.

Ontario County Public Health Department
Services to children with developmental delays aged from birth to 5; maternal health services including pre- and post-natal; lead prevention education, a car seat program.

Physician Referral Service
A free community service for patients seeking a referral for medical care.

Planned Parenthood of the Rochester/Syracuse Region
Sexually transmitted disease testing for men and women; birth control; counseling; pregnancy tests, women's reproductive health.

Pregnancy Care Center of the Finger Lakes
Free pregnancy testing; counseling and referrals; material aid, baby clothes, items and maternity clothes; abstinence counseling and support; education on fetal development, abortion, sexually transmitted diseases.

Rape and Abuse Crisis Service of the Finger Lakes
(315)781-1093 or Hotline: (800)247-7273
The agency provides a 24-hour hotline, crisis intervention, counseling, medical and legal assistance for people involved in rape or abuse.

Rushville Health Center
Provides medical, dental, outreach and rape and abuse crisis services to Ontario, Wayne and Yates counties.

Taking Off Pounds Sensibly Teen Group
(585) 394-8532
A teen group which will meet somewhere in the community with easy access for members for the purpose of weight loss. It is part of TOPS, Taking Off Pounds Sensibly, which is a National NON-PROFIT organization dedicated to educating, encouraging, holding accountable and rewarding the efforts of those who desire to lose weight and maintain their loss. It is a self-help support group that has been around for 60 years.

Thompson Health
(585) 396-6497
We primarily provide education, but give contact numbers and instructor email addresses to students in the class, and will handle 1:1 issues directly, or provide appropriate resources as needed.

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