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D-200 to open in-school health clinic

WOODSTOCK – District 200 will develop a high school-based health clinic for students and their families regardless of whether they have insurance or the D-200 school they attend.

The district is in the early planning after receiving an $86,654 federal grant to develop a health clinic at Woodstock North High School.

The money comes from the Affordable Care Act’s School-Based Health Center Capital Program, put in place to expand services and access to health care through school-based health centers, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration.

District 200 spokeswoman Carol Smith said in an email to the Northwest Herald that the clinic will address the district’s need for greater access to affordable health care.

“Many district families have no health insurance or have limited access to health care,” Smith said. The district doesn’t have statistics on uninsured students. But Smith said historically, 8 to 10 percent of students in the fall are not immunized for various diseases, although that doesn’t necessarily mean they are uninsured.

The clinic would provide immunizations in addition to sports physicals and general health care. School nurses will be able to refer students they see during the day to the clinic for additional medical attention.

“As other local health service agencies reduce the services they are able to provide, the district will be able to offset that by making a clinic available that can be accessed by our students and their families,” Smith said.

The district has yet to work out details, such as how many days a week the clinic will operate or when it will open. The grant covers equipment purchases and renovations to create space for a clinic.

Administrators are in talks with potential health care providers to run the day-to-day operations.

The medical partner also will fund the medical services in the early going, although the district says the clinic eventually will sustain itself “through insurance and private payments from patients.”

The HRSA will award an estimated $75 million for school-based health centers this fiscal year.

Individual grants are capped at $500,000.

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