HARRISON – One of the March 9 Harrison Community Schools Board of Education meeting’s more striking revelations was brought out by HCS Superintendent Rick Foote when he informed the board that there had been discussion with MidMichigan Health out of Houghton Lake.
“They have looked at wanting to partner with Harrison Community Schools to open an onsite health clinic for our community, within our school,” Foote said. He said MMH was looking to write a grant, one of 12 available in the state, with 2008 being the last time this grant had been available.
“They’d like to come down, and we are very much supportive of this idea,” Foote said. “We’re looking for approximately $195,000 to open up a clinical space, which would be in the middle school.”
He said it would possibly be in the front entrance area, by the computer labs and old lounge area, as the clinic would require space for an office, lab, bathroom and exam area.
“I’m really excited about this, because it would be a drop-in clinic not just for kids, but you could also come and have those services during open hours,” Foote said.
He added that there is no guarantee, and that if the grant comes through there would be no monetary cost to the school from June through September. From September forward there would be a 30% in-kind match, but that would be accounted for through the room provided and insurance billing revenue from people using the service.
“So, there’s really not going to be any cost to us, other than space and utilities for them to use it,” Foote said. “I think this will be a wonderful thing for our kids. All the kids are going to be on that side of the road in a couple years, so if they need to get in to see a P.A., social worker, and various other staffing they can provide for us – we just have to guarantee unduplicated users of about 500.”
That would be from among the 1,300 to 1,400 available to use it.
“That includes staff, that includes students,” he said. “And, like I said, it’s community also.”
Board president Angie Cullen and Foote said they had discussed the need to address security if the clinic would be open to the community and that, most likely, access would be through the doors nearest the Media Center, rather than at the office.
“It’s a process we’re going to have to work out with them on people entering the building,” Foote said. “It’s very exciting news; I was glad to see them reach out. It’s not guaranteed, but we could be looking forward to having this onsite.”