Mainline gets school clinic nod from DC

After much deliberation Monday night, the Drew Central School Board voted to allow Mainline Health Systems to open a school-based health facility on campus.
District Superintendent Billy Williams and the Health and Wellness Committee presented to the school board the need for a school-based health facility at a school board meeting earlier this year.
Williams informed local healthcare providers of the intention to open an on-campus facility and allowed all interested parties to present a proposal to the school board.
Monticello Medical Clinic and Drew Memorial Health System made a joint proposal to the school board. Neither group has ever been involved with an on-campus health facility.
Mainline, which also made a presentation, has in school based clinics in Hamburg, Star City, Lake Village and Eudora.
On the recommendation of the Health and Wellness Committee, the school board voted 3-2 to allow Mainline onto the Drew Central Campus.
The facility is expected to be open in the upcoming school year and will not cost Drew Central anything but space and extra custodial services.
Board member Mike Pennington made several arguments against the clinic but was one of the three “yes” votes. The others in favor of allowing Mainline on campus were, Curly Jackson and Rene Knowles, both of whom were outspoken in favor of the clinic.
School Board President Jason Cater did not make any comments in the discussion but voted against the clinic.
Member Laura Whitaker said she had been approached by business leaders within the community who had expressed what a bad idea opening an in school based clinic was. After several arguments against the clinic, Whitaker was the second “no” vote.
The school-based clinic will be able to perform virus scans, wellness checkups and much more.
The goal for this clinic will be to cut down on absenteeisms from both students and faculty.
“We are honored to be selected for this opportunity and proud to do this work,” Mainline Executive Director Allan Nichols said. “Our mission is to serve and help people. We are very excited. We are well into the plans already and we hope to open the first day of school (Aug. 14). We have contractors involved at this time and the space has been identified.
“We have bids out and hope to have them back by the end of the week. We hope to start construction and renovation next week. Drew Central is a wonderful school. So many people have been involved helping get this going and they are making our job a lot easier.”
In other news, the school board recognized Joy Graham for her recent induction as the president of the Kappa State Organization.
The board also approved the proposed milk and break bids for the 2017-18 school year and to hire additional staff for the campus’ in-school suspension classroom.

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