RACINE — The Southern Local Schools Wellness Center will begin its fourth year on the Southern Local Schools campus in Racine with the start of the 2014-15 school year.
The center offers a full range of health care for Southern Local students, staff and community. The clinic is open when school is in session from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. This year, the Wellness Center opens Aug. 21.
“I am very excited to get back to school and open the clinic for this school year,” Junie Maynard, nurse said practitioner, said. “It’s great to see the kids again, and always exciting to start a new year.”
The clinic has four staff members: Jayme Hill, MLT-ASCP, Kim Hill, RN, clinical coordinator; Junie Maynard, FNP-BC; and Cindy Archer, CMA, secretary.
Southern Local Schools Wellness Center first opened in January 2011, and was operated by Wirt County Health Services Association Inc. in collaboration with the Southern Local Board of Education.
As the wellness center has become established, it has begun to thrive.
“Business is good,” Maynard said, “especially with the student population and school staff. Our only deficit has been in the numbers we serve in the community . That is why we want to let everyone know we are not just a school clinic, we are a community clinic.
“We see patients of all ages from birth and up,” Maynard added. “We also have the ability to see the students during school hours, with parental consent. We take pride in getting to know our patients and meeting their personal needs.”
Maynard, who also doubles as the school nurse, noted that the protocol for seeing patients is students first, Southern staff, and then community. Maynard cites the hardest challenges are:
- Getting the word out that the clinic is available to anyone in the community, not just students and staff
- Establishing that the clinic is open only during school days, from 7:30 to 4 p.m.
“If it is a snow day or a school holiday, then we are closed,” Maynard said. “Otherwise, we will be here from the start of school to the end of the school year.”
The clinic can prescribe any medication, with the exception of narcotics. It should be noted that no prescription medication is located in the clinic.
Superintendent Tony Deem and Maynard worked several options in making the wellness center a reality.
“We wanted to continue to provide excellent care to our students, but we also wanted to be good partners in the community,” Deem said. “By bringing the wellness center into the school, we have been able to serve our students better, serve our staff and offer a great service to the community. We feel that we have achieved this goal.”
Deem said one of the original goals of the wellness clinic was to keep students who weren’t contagious in school.
“Research shows kids who miss fewer days, or parts of days, learn more and retain more knowledge,” he said. “We also implemented this plan with the idea of being able to keep staff on-site for the same reasons. If children have their regular teacher in the classroom, research shows they will retain more. In both cases we have seen attendance improve for our students and our staff. Likewise, test scores continue to improve.”
As the school nurse, Maynard sees students as she normally would and takes care of little bumps, scrapes, aches and pains. If it is something more serious, she calls home and recommends the child see their primary care provider and offers her services as an alternative. In most cases, students do not miss any school and, if necessary, parents can pick up prescriptions on the way home from work.
Most insurance providers and HMO’s are accepted at the clinic. Most insurances have a $10 co-pay.
Currently, patients must park in the Southern High parking lot and walk around to the former elementary administrative offices, which is the new home for the wellness center. To keep clinic patients separate from school operations, patients must enter the old elementary vestibule by the wellness center sign adjacent to Tornado Road and be “buzzed in” to the clinic. This is an added safety measure to protect students and staff at the school.
Soon, a parking lot for the clinic will be built and operational, offering the community easier access to the clinic.
In addition to basic health care, the wellness center offers employment physicals, DOT/ CDL physicals for $80, and any required immunizations.
Maynard recently became a fully CDL-certified provider, but notes that she is not available during summer hours, only school year hours.
“I am now a certified CDL examiner,” she said. “Please call for CDL appointments and detailed questions. We want to diversify and offer as many options to patients as possible. We want to be a one-stop facility so that everything is basically right here in one place to better serve the community.”
Except for CDL or sports physicals, patients can visit the center on a “walk-in” basis.
The center also offers mental health care, laboratory services and access to affordable pharmacy needs and soon will have dental services offered to those who do not have a primary dentist.
The wellness center treats acute care conditions on a walk-in basis such as sore throat, urinary tract infections, flu symptoms, ear infections and more. Diagnostic lab services are performed on-site and results are received promptly via the WCHCS Medical Information System. Access to affordable prescriptions with a pharmacy located at River Valley Health and Wellness Center in Ravenswood, W.Va., is available. The clinic also has the ability to send electronic prescriptions to a patient’s pharmacy of choice.
“There are no drugs, no prescription pads or narcotics on the premises,” Deem said. “If someone breaks in, they aren’t going to get anything. That was a concern of some parents and the community. I assure you the students are safe and thieves will go away empty-handed.”
For more information, call (740) 949-2348, or visit the wellness center at 906 Elm St., Racine.