REEDSVILLE — There is a new clinic serving the students, staff and community of Eastern Local School District.
Opening it’s doors earlier this year, the Eastern Care Clinic is a school-based clinic in partnership with Hopewell Health Centers and Eastern Local.
“Health care in our district is very limited with residents needing to drive either to Pomeroy, Athens or Belpre for their nearest health care provider. Establishing a clinic in our school, which is the hub of our community, helps alleviate some of the travel barriers that some of our residents may have encountered in receiving primary health care services,” stated Eastern Local Supt. Steve Ohlinger of bringing the clinic to the school.
Eastern Care Clinic is open year round, Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (except for holidays). The clinic is staffed by nurse practitioner Samantha Marty and LPN Tara Vogt, with site manager Amber Johnson.
The clinic, located in the Eastern High School building, has its own entrance on the end of the high school facing the elementary. The space was formerly a classroom before being converted into clinic space.
“This is a great location with it’s own entrance, which allows us to be open year round,” noted Johnson.
Services available at the clinic include primary care for students, staff and community, well checks, sports physicals, DOT physicals, chronic care management, preventative care, and urgent care for students, staff and established patients.
Marty stated that the clinic is able to see all ages from infant to elderly. New patients are being accepted at the clinic.
“We are really here for the community and to be a resource for the community,” said Marty.
Ohlinger added, “We are excited about our partnership with Hopewell and what we can provide for our students and community as a whole.”
Eastern students can be brought to the clinic by a parent or guardian, or can be referred by the school nurse to receive care, with the permission of a parent or guardian.
While it has been open for only a couple months, Ohlinger said that they district anticipates benefits coming from the clinic at the school.
“We are anticipating increased attendance rates of our students by having the clinic on-site. Students will be able to receive health care services at the clinic without having to leave our school campus. Students and staff can go to the clinic prior to school starting in the morning or after school and/or be referred by our school nurse,” said Ohlinger.
Johnson added that the clinic has been “extremely happy with the number of patients being seen so far.”
As a Hopewell Health Centers Clinic, the Eastern Care Clinic is able to complete lab work which is ordered by Hopewell providers at other locations, saving community members the travel to other facilities. Hopewell’s discount prescription drug program is also available to patients of the clinic. Transportation services to appointments are also available thorough Hopewell.
This is Hopewell’s third school-based clinic, having previously opened clinics at Trimble Local and Federal Hocking High School.
It was that history of school-based clinics and the existing partnership between Eastern and Hopewell for behavioral health services that lead the district to partner with Hopewell for the clinic, said Ohlinger.
Hopewell staff also worked with Eastern Local to complete COVID-19 vaccinations for district staff.
Contact the Eastern Care Clinic at 740-570-2002.
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Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.