Clinic, school district partner to offer services for students

By BRYN STOLE Staff Writer

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Mildred Jones, the mother of a Claudine Brown Elementary School second-grader, signs her child up for a Greenwood Children’s Clinic program that will provide health-care services to Leflore County School District students in their schools. Also pictured are Treva Stigler, a registered nurse at the Children’s Clinic, and Claudine Brown Principal Lucretia Woods.

 

The Greenwood Children’s Clinic is teaming with the Leflore County School District to bring primary health care to students in their schools.

Nurses from the clinic have been at all six district schools this week during registration in order to meet with parents and sign kids up for the program.

Two physicians and a nurse practitioner from the clinic — Dr. Mary Blair, Dr. Claudine Stevens and Carly Jo Meredith, CFNP — will be visiting Leflore County schools during the year, providing wellness checks, updating immunizations and conducting follow-up visits.

Dr. Todd Fincher, a dentist, and Dr. Todd Hall, an optometrist, will also be participating in the program, providing dental and vision checks for Leflore County students.

Treva Stigler, a nurse who was signing up parents for the program Wednesday at Claudine Brown Elementary School, said the program had been a hit so far with the vast majority of parents stopping by to register their children for school.

“Parents are excited, and they are glad that we’re doing it,” Stigler said.

For many parents, having medical services, such as regular wellness exams, provided at school means one less trip to the doctor’s office — and, for many, one less day off work.

“We know how it can be if you’re a parent who works,” said Allison Faulkner, director of marketing for Greenwood Leflore Hospital, which runs the clinic. “It’s really a good deal because it’s hard to take off.”

Reaching out to children who might not otherwise make it in for a regular check-up or wellness exam is also a major goal of the program.

“We saw that many kids were coming in only because they were sick,” Stigler said. “They’re not coming in for their annual wellness exam, their preventive care.”

Catching and diagnosing issues early, Stigler said, can help mitigate eventual complications, keeping children healthier and in school. Identifying and treating other disorders including autism, hearing and vision problems and learning disabilities could help children perform better in the classroom.

Once students are enrolled in the program, their existing health insurance plan will be billed for the services at the same rate the clinic charges for an in-office visit.

Uninsured children will still be eligible to receive immunizations and booster shots through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccines for Children program, Stigler said.

Stigler said the help and cooperation of Leflore County Conservator Robert Strebeck as well as the school nurses and principals have made the program possible.