By Catherine Rice, Vice President of Marketing/Outreach
Health Partnership Clinic (HPC) and the Shawnee Mission School District (SMSD) are partnering to bring access to primary and preventative health care, chronic disease management, mental health services and more to district students and their siblings. A school-based health clinic will open at Shawnee Mission West High School, 8800 W. 85th St., Overland Park, Kan. on Thursday, Sept. 2, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will serve all SMSD students and their siblings, three to 20 years old. An open house/ribbon cutting is planned for later this fall.
Specialized Pediatric-Focused Care
According to Amy Falk, HPC’s CEO, the clinic, which will be open on Thursdays during the school year, will offer specialized pediatric-focused care to treat most health conditions that affect children and adolescents. “We basically function as a doctor’s office but in a school building. Services are available in person or virtual, and walk-ins will be accommodated if the schedule permits. The primary goal is to provide easy, immediate access to quality and affordable health care.”
Services will include physical exams, sports physicals, immunizations, including COVID vaccines, COVID testing, age-appropriate health screenings, preventive education, referrals to specialty services, sick visits, management of acute and chronic problems and mental health services. Free Medicaid and Marketplace insurance enrollment will also be available. Dental care including screenings, fluorides and restorative care will be added in the future.
Medical Home for Students
“Our goal is to serve as a medical home for students and offer an additional access point to primary care,” says Wael S. Mourad, MD, MHCM, FAAFP, HPC’s Chief Health Officer. “Beyond a focus on primary health care, it’s important we meet the social and emotional needs of children and adolescents to help them reach their individual potential. Initially, the clinic will be staffed by a provider (either a physician or nurse practitioner), a medical assistant and a mental health clinician.”
“Health Partnership is well aligned with the major concern of schools: academic achievement. We know from studies that meeting the physical and mental health needs of children and adolescents increases their readiness for learning, prevents them from missing time in class and enhances opportunities for lifetime success. Through our integrated services we are able to more fully address the spectrum of problems students bring to primary care.”
Breaking Down Barriers
Shelby Rebeck, MSN, BSN, RN, Health Services Coordinator for Shawnee Mission School District says, “The idea is to break down barriers to health care. Barriers for many of our students include low income, lack of knowledge, lack of transportation and parents’/guardians’ inability to take time away from hourly jobs. Health Partnership provides a tremendous opportunity for our students to receive critical health care so that they can be successful in school.”
“The Shawnee Mission School District and Health Partnership Clinic are an example of how two organizations can come together to help improve the lives of children,” says Steve Loe, Principal of Shawnee Mission West High School. “The school-based health clinic will greatly expand the resources of our school nurse and social worker and helps support our goal to have every student succeed.”
Most insurance plans are accepted, including KanCare/Medicaid. As a community health center, HPC offers a sliding-fee discount program which is based on income and household size. Fees are waived for students experiencing homelessness. The center will be housed in existing space at the school.
For more information about Health Partnership Clinic, or to schedule a medical appointment, Shawnee Mission School District parents should call 913-648-2266.