WOODSTOCK – A new clinic meant to provide additional health care services for all Woodstock high school students will open in August, nearly three years after school officials applied for a grant to create the clinic.
The clinic, which will open at Woodstock North High School, can provide general health care services for high school students beyond what school nurses traditionally provide, said Lisa Tate, nursing and health services director. It also improves health care access for low-income students within Woodstock School District 200, she said.
“We saw a lot of students were facing gaps in health care access who were being impacted academically. ... We want them to have an optimal learning environment,” Tate said.
District officials applied in spring 2012 and later received an $86,654 federal grant to develop the health care clinic, a part of a school health center capital program included in the Affordable Care Act.
The clinic, converted from office space at Woodstock North, officially will open to high school students and parents at the start of the new school year in August.
The clinic will have its own entrance near the school’s auditorium and also feature two exam rooms, a lab and an office for a nurse practitioner, said district spokeswoman Carol Smith.
Nurses at the high school could refer students they see during the day to the clinic for additional treatment.
As an example, a practitioner at the clinic would be able to prescribe medication to a student with an ear infection – something school nurses can’t do, Smith said.
Once the clinic opens, school officials will assess student demands for the clinic with an eye toward expanding the facility to all district students.
“We are opening it slowly with the high school students to work out the kinks,” Smith said. “We need to start slow.”
The federal grant covers the district’s bricks-and-mortar and equipment costs to create the clinic. The clinic’s staff and other operational costs will be covered by the Community Health Partnership of Illinois, a Chicago-based agency that is working with District 200 on the new health care facility.