I n an article earlier this school year I wrote about the Rockdale ISD School Health Advisory Council (SHAC). All Texas School Districts are required by law to have an active School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) of which the majority of members must be parents who are not employed by the school district.
SHAC provides an efficient, effective structure for creating and implementing an age-appropriate, health education program and early intervention and prevention strategies that can easily be supported by local families and community members. The SHAC is annually appointed by the local education agency Board of Trustees, and are involved in a number of health related decisions for RISD.
During the April 2013 RISD SHAC meeting, Dr. John Weed and several members of Little River Health Care staff presented information on a proposal for a School Based Health Clinic in Rockdale ISD. He explained that partnerships between schools and for-profit organizations are increasing in numbers as districts look for ways to maximize their funds.
After listening to the presentation, the RISD SHAC decided to recommend to the Rockdale ISD Board of Trustees the implementation of a School Based Health Clinic available on each of the four campuses in the district. The Rockdale ISD SHAC co-chair Angel Miller, presented to the RISD Board of Trustees the following:
“The Rockdale ISD SHAC recommends that the Rockdale ISD pursue the partnership with Little River Health Care to provide a campus based clinic that will work in collaboration with the current Rockdale ISD medical staff to provide expanded ser- vices to our students and staff.” The recommendation for this partnership was considered and eventually approved by the Rockdale ISD Board of Trustees. Since the board approval for this partnership, the Rockdale ISD administration and the Little River Health Care staff have been working together to implement this recommendation. This month, the School Based Health Clinics will be operational and available to serve Rockdale ISD staff members during the first month.
Services will be made available to students beginning in February. This will allow time for information to be shared with parents and consent forms to be distributed. Parents who choose to participate must have those forms signed and returned prior to service. Current school nurses will continue their student and staff member services as in the past, but separate medical services provided by a nurse practitioner will be an option for students and staff members only.
Courtney Paulsen, Rockdale High School graduate, will be the nurse practitioner and she will be assisted by Lilly Luna. Services provided by the School Based Health Clinic will be the same, in most cases, as the services provided at the downtown clinic and patients will have to provide health insurance information and make co-payments when using the facility. More information about the School Based Health Clinics will be available in the coming weeks. firstname.lastname@example.org