QUILCENE — Quilcene School District is slated to host a public hearing Tuesday, Aug. 13 to discuss a proposed school-based health center.
The meeting is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. at the Quilcene Community Center, 94952 U.S. Highway 101. The meeting is expected to end by 7 p.m.
A school-based health center would be able to provide services such as diagnosis and treatments of minor illnesses and injuries, management of chronic health conditions, reproductive health, sports physicals, immunizations and counseling for mental health issues.
The centers are not long-term care facilities, but allow the school to directly manage minor medical issues and then refer them to medical facilities for further treatment, said Marjorie Boyd, public health nurse at Jefferson County Public Health.
“We will help people with services,” Boyd said. “And then if they need ongoing health care or they need to get established with a doctor or nurse practitioner we refer; we try to get them into a medical home.
“But a lot of folks don’t have time to get their students into medical care or it’s something simple that we can take care of right then and there.”
Port Townsend and Chimacum school districts both already have school-based health centers and there are more than 2,500 school-based health centers throughout the nation, Boyd said.
“Nationally, it’s recognized that school-based health centers are a really efficient and quality way to get health services to students,” Boyd said.
“We find that students miss less school, parents miss less work and so that’s really a win-win for everybody.”
Two nurse practitioners from Port Townsend’s and Chimacum School district’s current school-based health centers will be giving a presentation on the uses and benefits of the clinic during the community meeting, Boyd said.
The proposed plan is still just in the planning stage because the district is using these public meetings to gain community input about a school-based health center, Quilcene Superintendent Frank Redmon said.
The health center in Quilcene has been under discussion for longer than a year, Redmon said.
A final plan for the school-based health clinic is predicted to be given to the Quilcene School Board by the end of the calendar year for the board to approve, depending on the reactions of the community at these meetings, Redmon said.
The meeting will have light refreshments for attendees.
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5 or at [email protected].