Wednesday, September 23, 2015

LMSD Moves Toward Agreement with Winston Medical for On Campus Clinic

The Louisville Municipal School Board of Trustees met in a special session this evening (Tuesday, Sept 22) with representatives from the Winston Medical Center (WMC) to consider the establishment of a health clinic at the Fair Elementary School.

The idea has been in the works for a period of time and a clarification of an Attorney General's opinion paved the way for the matter to be brought before the school board.

WMC Chief Operating Officer Paul Black spoke to the Board and explained the possibilities. Under the plan, the school would provide space at Fair Elementary with an entrance on East College Street that would encompass the existing school nurse’s office plus an additional room to establish an actual clinic run by WMC. This clinic would house a nurse who will take on the role of the school nurse and a nurse practitioner who can actually treat students and employees as needed.

WMC would pay a market rent for the space and the school district would provide maintenance services.

Students would have access to the clinic in a similar manner as with a school nurse but would also have access to a nurse practitioner if treatment of some type were needed. School employees would also have access to the clinic for services, wellness checks, etc.

WMC would bill insurance, Medicare or Medicaid as allowed for services and have access to immediate medical records of existing patients.

Black said, “This is a win-win. It should help LMSD financially
and help students and employees.” While indicating that it was hoped that WMC would make a profit, Black added, “If we break even, we’ll be happy. It will help the school system and we believe it will help us in other, residual ways.”

Initial plans call for the clinic to open at 7:00 am and close at 4:00 pm when school is in session. The clinic would be closed during the summer. WMC also hopes to work with parents to get consent for any treatment on the front end.

It is hoped that access to a clinic, particularly for Fair and Louisville Elementary students, would improve attendance and even possibly prevent the spread of illness.

After discussion, the Board voted to pursue action on the clinic and allow both parties time to work out any legal and liability issues.

Superintendent Ken McMullan also informed the Board that the result of the partnership with WMC would save the District money equivalent to a school nurse’s salary that could either be saved by the District or consideration could be given to providing a school based nurse at Nanih Waiya and/or Noxapater.

The Board agreed to add this option to the agenda of their next board meeting.