MOUNT VERNON – A new primary healthcare center has recently opened in Mount Vernon. It’s not surrounded by a hospital or other office properties. It’s at Mount Vernon City Schools.
The Nationwide Children’s healthcare center, located inside the Mount Vernon City High School, opened at the end of May, treating students from Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Nationwide Children’s staff will operate the grant-funded healthcare center and will be available countywide.
The center is expected to pick up in speed once kids return in the fall, superintendent Bill Seder said.
There are two entrances to the health center, either through the high school itself or through the south entrance of the building.
Those entering the facility would press a button to be allowed into the building, similar to entering a school.
“This is really secure,” Seder said. “Folks can’t just walk in here and have easy access to the school.”
The 3,500-square-foot healthcare center features two restrooms, a break room, a lab/diagnostic room and four exam rooms. The center provides primary care, manages chronic diseases such as asthma and ADHD, vaccinations and yearly wellness exams.
“One of the primary reasons why you have a school-based health center is for access for students,” Seder said.
Seder added the school would see less absenteeism due to students missing school from doctor’s appointments.
“The fact that we’re going to have the ability to transport students from the elementary to his building will provide parents who have challenges relative to transportation, it’ll mitigate those challenges so that their children can be seen for primary healthcare.”
Seder said the district, along with Nationwide Children’s Healthcare Center, have plans to open up the facility to the Knox County Career Center.
”Our goal moving forward is for anybody at the elementary who has appointments, we would provide the ability to have a schedule that we could drive,” Seder said. “Those young people here, they get to their appointment and then are driven back to the school.”
Almost 45% enrolled at Mount Vernon City School didn’t list a primary care doctor on their medical emergency form, Seder said. The student healthcare center could provide a solution for those students. The district will also still have school nurses.
Nurse practitioner Lori Shuler, who works at the student healthcare center, said the center’s biggest goal is to find the children and students in the community who do aren’t attached to a primary care provider already.
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