Doctor proposes clinic for schools

Medical aid eyed for students, staff
Reporter Editor

Re-elected trustees (L-R) Lee Jenkins, Michelle Lehmkuhl, Wenda Dyer were sworn in Monday by Donna Melcher (at left), secretary to the superintendent. 
Reporter/Mike Brown Re-elected trustees (L-R) Lee Jenkins, Michelle Lehmkuhl, Wenda Dyer were sworn in Monday by Donna Melcher (at left), secretary to the superintendent. Reporter/Mike Brown The concept of a medical clinic inside Rockdale schools took a big step forward Monday as a local physician appeared before the school board and answered many of their concerns about the idea.

Dr. John M. Weed III told the board that details, including a lease arrangement, are yet to be worked out but Little River Healthcare envisions starting the project at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.

Board president Lee Jenkins, said Dr. Weed’s presentation Monday answered many of his questions and concerns about the concept, which had been floated at a previous board meeting.

Also Monday, the board swore in three incumbents to new terms, and accepted several resignations.

CLINIC—Dr. Weed said the idea for an in-school clinic occurred to him in conversations with his wife Jeanie, a retired school nurse.

“It’s amazing what school nurses do in the course of a day,” Dr. Weed said. “They see 40 to 60 kids. There is a tremendous amount of health care going on in a system that’s not a health care system. A school is not set up to take care of sick people. I talked to Little River and said ‘we need to get involved’.”

He said the concept would be to retain the school nurses at each campus—“they’d keep on doing what they’re doing”— and for Little River Medical to assign a nurse-practitioner to a clinic to be estab- lished at one of the campuses.

“The nurse-practitioner would assist them with clinical decision making, but would not be their ‘boss’,” Dr. Weed said.

He envisioned the school nurses ‘triaging’ (prioritizing) potential patients and the child student receiving treatment with the nurse-practitioner going to each campus as necessary.

Dr. Weed said as ass istant—“ think of the person who takes your blood pressure before the doctor comes in” and a clerk would also be in the clinic.

PREVENTIVE—Dr. Weed said the clinic concept is also designed as a preventive measure.

“We’re seeing recent problems in children on a scale we’ve never seen before, diabetes, even needing liver transplants, all related to obesity, and in reality this is an American disease,” he said.

He said the clinic would also serve health care needs of the school staff.

Dr. Weed said the clinic would most likely be located in the intermediate campus.

He told board members the idea of a “for-profit” entity operating inside a school is not new and that he had contacted a Pasadena area school which has a similar clinic.

Jenkins said that concept was one he had been concerned with.

Board members okayed a policy change to allow non-school use of school facilities in the event the clinic becomes a reality.

A lease agreement concerning the clinic was tabled, pending a lease agreement being negotiated by the school and Little River Medical.

STAFF—Resignations/retirements were accepted as follows:

Janet Havelka, PE; Linda Wilson, reading/dyslexia; Jennifer Schilling, fifth grade; Clay Cox, teacher/coach; Paige Garrett, English; Lenual (JR) Lemons, teacher/coach; Travis Urban, social studies.

Hired were: Michael Burnett, first grade; Michael Dunn, teacher/ coach; Brandon Grigsby, ag science; Robert Jones, special ed.

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