Malabar Intermediate School is taking an aggressive approach to helping at-risk students – both in school and at home – through creation of a school-based health care clinic. Funded by a four-year state School Quality Improvement Grant, medical care at the clinic and home visits by two community health care workers will be provided by the Third Street Family Health Services in Mansfield.
“This is a holistic approach to meeting the needs of students who struggle with academics or behavior issues linked to home situations that may include a lack of adequate housing, food, medical care or other factors,” said assistant principal Tom Hager. “A student cannot come to school ready to learn if they are experiencing negative conditions at home.”
The clinic is located down the hall from Malabar’s administrative offices. It includes a reception area and two private exam rooms. Visitors to the clinic will enter through the doors to the right of the school’s digital message sign.
“Initially, a nurse practitioner from Third Street Family Health Services will be here at Malabar on Mondays and Thursdays,” Hager said.
A core team at Malabar will identify at-risk students who would benefit from clinic care as well as home visits by community health care workers Shanice Brooks and Laura Walker. The mission of Brooks and Walker is to conduct needs assessments and help to direct families to available assistance. Parental consent will be required for both clinic and home visits.
“The partnership we are trying to create is among the students, their families and the school,” said Dr. Holly Christie, director of student support programs.
There is no charge for the work of the community health care workers. Fees for clinic services will be on a sliding scale based on family income and can be billed to insurance or Medicaid. Where needed, Third Street Family Health Services will assist in Medicaid enrollment.
The nurse practitioner and community health care workers will be at Malabar’s fifth- and sixth-grades open house at 5:30 PM on August 20. For more information about the clinic and home visits contact Stacey Nolan at Third Street Family Health Services at 419-525-2555.
Mark Redding, M.D., a pediatrician affiliated with Akron Children’s Hospital, has been involved in planning the school-based health clinic and home visits. “The expectation of good school work is not indicated if a student does not have enough to eat, a secure place to live or other problems within the family,” Dr. Redding said. “This is a whole-family approach to helping the student.”
Hager and Dr. Redding lauded the support of state Rep. Mark Romanchuk, who recommended grant funding for the clinic in a letter to the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). Hager also said the clinic project is in line with new Superintendent Stan Jefferson’s priority of emphasizing family engagement.
Jefferson said Tuesday the efforts of Malabar and the Third Street Family Health Services embodies the proverb that it takes a village to raise a child. “I applaud the hard work of Malabar principal Andrea Moyer, assistant principal Tom Hager, Third Street Family Health Services and others involved in making this wonderful opportunity available to our students and families,” Jefferson said.
Hager said the School Quality Improvement Grant provides $600,000 over four years.
In the photo above, Assistant principal Tom Hager talks with Shanice Brooks and Laura Walker, community health care workers hired by Third Street Family Health Services to work with Malabar Intermediate School’s developing school-based health care clinic.
Source, Photo: Mansfield City Schools