Meriden families benefit from partnership between schools and health dept.

MERIDEN — Some teamwork by the Board of Education and the city health department should make it easier to register first-time students for school.

In the past, a parent registering a new student would go to the child’s school to fill out paperwork.

If any lead testing, immunizations, or other medical information was missing, parents would have to go to a physician or to the city Health and Human Services building on Miller Street and then send the completed forms back to the school. Since October, school and health employees involved with registration have been under one roof at the Miller Street building.

“You want to take people and guide them through the process rather than handing out cards to where they should go,” Health and Human Services Director Lisa Pippa said Tuesday.

After registering a student in a Board of Education office at the Health Department building, families can walk back into a clinic run by Stephanie Geremia to receive immunizations or take a right to speak with Scott Bryden to be tested for lead exposure. Geremia and Bryden are health department employees.

Testing children for lead exposure has been a big push for Pippa in recent years. The city now mandates that every student entering kindergarten be tested.

“We’re the only ones doing that,” Pippa said.

Since a lot of the homes in Meriden were built before 1978 — the year lead was removed from paint — it important the city take the lead on lead exposure, Geremia said.

The mandatory lead screening helps the health department get children the help they need early on,” Geremia said.

mcallahan@record-journal.com (203) 317-2279 Twitter: @MollCal



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