The Health Center is located on the first floor of Sawyer-Hopkins Dormitory. Medical care for illnesses and injuries is provided through the Health Center, which is open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Urgent medical problems/injuries are treated at Heywood Hospital in Gardner, which is approximately six miles (9.5 kilometers) from campus.
Students who require nursing intervention should come to the Health Center before class begins or during a free period, except in the case of urgent medical problems. Note: When a student feels ill, he/she must report to the Health Center to be medically excused from classes or athletics.
PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION POLICY
We are guided by Massachusetts regulations and established principles of good practice among independent schools for the administration of prescription medication. Every student who brings prescription medication to Cushing must have a plan for its proper administration as developed by the prescribing physician and our Health Center. International students must bring directions in English. Misuse of medication or failure to follow the plan will result in disciplinary action and may lead to suspension or dismissal from the Academy. “Misuse” includes giving away, stock-piling or selling controlled medication.
Parents are required to submit to the Health Center the health forms regarding prescribed medications prior to the student’s arrival on campus. If a student begins a new medication while enrolled at Cushing, the Health Center must be notified in writing by the licensed prescriber; we require the name of the medication, the frequency, and the dose in order to update the student’s health records.
Upon notification that a student is taking any prescribed psychoactive medication (i.e. antidepressants, stimulants and nonstimulants used for attention disorders, sedatives, tranquilizers and similar medications), the Health Center requires an order form to be completed by the prescribing physician. This form is included as a part of the required health forms.
Prescription medication will be dispensed through the Health Center dose by dose. Students are not allowed to keep psychoactive or controlled medication in their dormitory room or accumulate excess medication. Violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action.
When a student is away from campus for any reason, a parent must call the Health Center to give permission for the release of prescribed medications.
Parents of students who are on prescribed medications must call the Health Center each time a student requests off-campus permission.
Under Massachusetts law, a parent who is a physician may not prescribe certain drugs for their children, whether the parent is a physician licensed to practice medicine in the Commonwealth or otherwise. Cushing Academy strongly discourages parents who are physicians from treating their children while they are at Cushing Academy.
At Cushing Academy, counseling is considered a means of support for the health and well-being of individuals and the school community. Counseling services for students are provided on campus on a part-time basis, and there are no additional fees charged for these services.
For the Summer Session, Cushing retains the services of an independently licensed clinician. Referrals for counseling can be made by parents, faculty, administrators and nursing staff. Students may also refer themselves. In some cases, participation in counseling may be required as a condition for continued enrollment in the Summer Session.
Counseling services during the Summer Session usually begin with an assessment to determine the type of support a particular student might need. Typically, students need counseling for adjustment issues and/or other emotional concerns. In consultation with parents, the counselor may refer some students to off-campus clinical services or for educational and/or psychological testing services.