XENIA — When Dayton Children’s Hospital decided to partner with Xenia Community Schools almost two months ago and start a new school-based health and wellness clinic, it wasn’t known at that time how popular the clinic would become.
The new clinic, which opened in August, recently sent out consent forms to parents of the estimated 900 students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades at Warner Middle School.
“We are seeing patients every day,” said Dina Thurman, Dayton Children’s nurse practitioner who treats students at Warner Middle School. “We see a variety of common childhood conditions. We’re off to a good start. We knew it would take time. Our clinic is there as a pediatricians office in the school. We offer primary care services. We bill for services through an insurance office.”
According to a press release, the goal of this partnership is to make getting kid-focused health care as easy as walking down the hall. This is the first school-based health and wellness clinic for Dayton Children’s and Xenia Community Schools, who have been looking to establish a school-based health and wellness clinic for years. They were essentially matched to Dayton Children’s through a network of clinics in a Nationwide Children’s database.
The clinic provides a range of services to meet kid’s and teens health care needs. The clinic must have parental or guardian consent to treat a child.
Services can include:
— Well check-ups for those without a prescription.
— Diagnosis, treatment, and management of sudden illnesses and minor injuries.
— Medical care for chronic conditions, such as asthma or diabetes.
— Lab tests.
— Physicals for sports or work.
“For example, if a child develops a sore throat, ear pain, or rash while at school, I can complete a physical exam, run lab tests, determine a course of action and prescribe treatment or medication, if necessary,” Thurman said. “We are there for almost any basic health care a child could need. We envision offering seasonal immunizations, timely health education, and other services that our families tell us they want or need.”
The school-based health and wellness clinic will not replace the regular school clinic or the school nurse. Instead, it will offer more resources to parents and students across the district to support their well-being.
“For some families, it can be hard to get their child in to see a doctor,” said Dr. Gabriel Lofton, superintendent of XCS. “Parents or guardians have to take time away from work and the child may have to miss school. Having this clinic integrated into the school will allow students easier access and faster care.”
The nurse practitioner will be available on-site three days a week and available via telemedicine during school hours weekly. Over time, Dayton Children’s and XCS hope to expand the scope of services and the number of students served across the district.
According to Dayton Children’s, a grant of $100,000 was received from Nationwide Children’s to assist in this endeavor as part of their learning collaborative
“Ideally, our goal is to see kids linked to a medical home or primary care provider,” said Thurman, who has 21 years of pediatric experience. Assisted by Sheri Lockwood, a Dayton Children’s hospital technician, Thurman says they’ve received very positive feedback from the students, parents, and staff.
“It’s been fabulous,” Thurman said. “The families have had an opportunity to meet with us and we’ve been able to keep kids in school that would otherwise have been sent home. It seems like a natural fit. We’ve only been seeing three to five kids a day, our hope is that the volume is going to increase. We’re happy kids are utilizing our services.”
Reach Karen Rase at 937-502-4534.