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Wappingers Administrator Visits Health Center at Webutuck

Webutuck may one day no longer be the only district in Dutchess County with a School-Based Health Center after Wappingers Assistant Superintendent for Student Support Services Richard Zipp visited the center on Oct. 12.

Richard Zipp“I’m thoroughly impressed, so I’m going to go back to my superintendent and board, and let them know what I saw,” said Zipp.

He added, “It looked like I walked into a physician’s office. It looked professional and the fact Webutuck took the opportunity to reenvision their office, I felt like I was in a doctor’s office. The equipment looked great and the people there were warm, welcoming and they were working well together.”

Wappingers is the largest district in Dutchess County with 15 schools. Zipp said he would like the district to look at implementing health centers across the district. He said the next step is to invite staff from Open Door, which oversees the SBHC at Webutuck, to visit his district.

“We’ll look at existing offices and structures and get a sense of what we can do with what we have, what kind of changes would be necessary, figure out what that may or may not cost, and start the process,” he said.

The School-Based Health Center at Webutuck opened in 2022. About 60 percent of the district’s students are enrolled to receive treatment at the center, which is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“We love what we’re doing here at Webutuck and I think the model could work in many districts. We just need to get the word out,” said Business Administrator Robert Farrier.

“We knew it was going to be something that was pivotal for us and a game changer, and we’re starting to see that with so many families taking advantage of it and the great things we’re seeing coming out of Open Door and Family Services of Westchester as our partner.”