Archived Story

School getting health center

Published 4:40pm Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ross Beatty Junior/Senior High School will see a community clinic operate within its walls after Cassopolis Board of Education approved a proposal 5-0 at a special meeting July 16.
During the reorganizational meeting of the school board July 9, members, including new Supt. Tracy Hertsel and acting Board President Jeremy Carlisle, listened as Mary Middleton, executive director of Cassopolis Family Clinic, proposed a school-based health center which would occupy the former wood shop.
The area, which has its own entrance, will provide services on-site.
Cassopolis Family Clinic has been in operation since 1964 and today operates as a community health center, receiving in excess of $700,000 per year and taking care of more than 7,500 people, whether or not they have health insurance.
The clinic would provide health care services to students in kindergarten through 12th grade, as well as special education students.
A grant for a majority of the costs to the clinic needs to be approved by both the board and clinic’s board before July 24, when the application is due.
Among questions from board members, Carlisle asked if the clinic would cost the district anything.
Middleton said that if the grant is obtained, the only costs not covered would be use of the space free of charge and utilities, which the district would pay.
Board member Janet Hall asked if the clinic would replace certified nursing services already available at the school.
Middleton said the clinic would not replace the school nurse, as it would operate as a community health center.
Access to the clinic was also addressed. Middleton said students would be able to access the clinic from inside by pressing a buzzer and checking in with a receptionist. Others would be required to enter through the outside entrance, which would be monitored by the receptionist.
“We have a very workable document” since the attorney reviewed the contract after the last meeting. “It’s a great opportunity for us to serve our kids in another way,” Hertsel said.

Clinic giving $3,000 for sports

Middleton, of Dowagiac, presented a $3,000 check on behalf of the clinic to help match the $18,000 needed to save sports.
“Health care doesn’t just happen in our clinic,” she said.
“We recognize how important physical activity is for kids.”

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