DCSD considers opening school-based health center

Drew Central’s School District’s School Board and all its school principals heard a lengthy presentation from representatives of the Mainline Health Systems in a school board meeting Thursday night. The presentation was about the potential of opening a schoolbased health center on the DC campus.

After the roll was called and the previous month’s meeting minutes were approved, the board recognized the May Students of the Month from the middle school. Middle School Principal Patti Smith presented the students with a certifi cate and a group picture was taken.

The board then welcomed Mainline Executive Director Allan Nichols to speak to the board about statistics and benefi ts of having a school based health clinic.

“Mainline Health Systems has eight school clinics in four different school districts,” Nichols said. “We go where we are asked to go.”

Currently, Mainline has school based clinics in Hamburg, Portland, Lake Village, Eudora, Star City and Dermott.

“Our main point is being there to help kids,” said Mainline Marketing Director Brittany Sears. “The kids that receive the most benefi t are ones that do not have the opportunity to go to the doctor or dental hygienist.”

The Health and Wellness committee for the Drew Central School District has considered the idea of a school-based health clinic for a brief time and presented the idea to DCSD Superintendent Billy Williams.

“We were seeing that students were missing quite a few days of school due to sickness,” Williams said. “We hope that adding a health clinic on our campus might cut down on the number of absences from students because of illness. They will be able to be seen by health care professionals on campus with parents permission.”

The effects of the school-based health clinics have been positive according to other districts administrations and staff.

“The Hamburg school-based health clinic has been a breath of fresh air for students and staff of the Hamburg School District,” said Hamburg School District Superintendent Max Dyson. “The partnership of Mainline Health Systems and Hamburg School District is a step in the right direction of what can occur when you break down the barriers of ‘we’ve never done it that way before.’

“We are meeting the needs of students and staff in a way that is unique, cutting edge and revolutionary. Come visit us at Hamburg and I will show you how we all work together to build a better tomorrow.”

Teachers will also have access to the school based health clinic facilities.

“As superintendent of Drew Central Schools, I am excited that our school district is exploring the opportunity to open a school-based health center on our campus during school hours,” Williams said. “We have reached out to our local medical providers, Mainline Health Systems, Inc. and Monticello Medical Clinic/Drew Memorial Hospital, for proposals that will meet the every day health and wellness needs of our students and staff on our school campus. Drew Central’s Health/Wellness committee is currently conducting a needs assessment with our student’s parents/ guardians to have insight into the types of health services needed by students and staff.”

At this time, no decision has been made regarding the implementation of a school based health clinic.

The Drew Central School Board will meet again on June 9.

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