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Thursday, April 25,2013

New health clinic opens at Eastern High School

Clinic will provide health service to Lansing School District students year round

by Sam Inglot
School and public health officials at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Eastern High School Health Clinic Sam Inglot/City Pulse

Thursday, April 25 — Lansing School District students will now be able to get access to primary and preventative health care at Eastern High School.

Today, district and public health officials announced a new health clinic located inside the school.

The 1,400-square-foot clinic will be open year round to students in the district between the ages of 10 and 21. Students will have access to preventative and primary health services to treat acute health issues, like sprained ankles and head colds, as well as chronic health issues like asthma. Students can also get treatment for emotional and social issues through behavioral health services.

The clinic was opened through a partnership between the district and the Ingham County Health Department.

Ingham County Health Department Health Officer Renee Canady said the idea for the clinic began a year ago when the district closed Otto Middle School, where a similar clinic was stationed. The clinic at Otto is still open, but with no students at the school, it now operates as a community health clinic. The district also has clinics at Sexton High School and Willow Elementary.

Canady said the clinic will allow students — with parental consent — to get access to health services even if a parent is at work or if the family can’t afford health insurance. She said the center would also help students and families enroll in Medicaid.

Barb Mastin, chief operating officer at the health department, said all students will get access to services — regardless of whether they have insurance.

“No child is denied service,” she said. “Everybody gets service regardless of their ability to pay. If there is insurance, the insurance is billed.”

The clinic is funded with support from the county, the Michigan Department of Community Health and the federal government.

Mastin said the clinic has an operating budget of just over $748,000.

The clinic is required to see at least 500 students a year, Mastin said. It will have six staff members, including nurses, a social worker and a behavioral health specialist.

The opening of the clinic was preceded by remarks from Superintendent Yvonne Caamal Canul, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, two Lansing Board of Education members and Canady.

Bernero called the clinic’s unveiling an “important step” in addressing public health issues. He said the partnership between the county and the school district showed that there was an active effort to “wrap the resources of the community around the schools.” 

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