QUILCENE — Quilcene School Board members unanimously approved a school-based health center, which would give students the ability to receive basic medical treatment on campus.
The clinic will be in elementary school rooms that will be slightly remodeled by the district to house the clinic.
The medical clinic will be staffed by a nurse practitioner hired through Jefferson County Public Health.
Opening of the clinic is dependent upon both setting up the rooms and the hiring process, officials said. It is expected to open in January at the earliest.
The clinic is being funded by the Jefferson County Public Health Department and Jefferson Healthcare hospital.
Services to the student will be charged to that student family’s insurance, which officials said would assist with funding the clinic, but if a student is not insured, the clinic would be able to assist them with signing up for Apple Health if they qualify or work something out if that’s not the case.
The board approved the clinic Oct. 16 after receiving feedback from a parent and student survey.
The district received 86 responses, with 81 positive responses and five indicating that parents were content with their student’s current medical care and wouldn’t use the clinic, Marjorie Boyd, public health nurse at Jefferson County Public Health, said in a press release.
“Our staff, students and families were all greatly excited at the prospect of a school-based health clinic at Quilcene and we’ve heard nothing but support since the board of directors voted unanimously to go forth with the campaign,” Principal Sean Moss said.
“During this process I’ve been incredibly proud of how involved our student body has been, as they’ve showed a great deal of maturity in taking ownership of the initiative.”
In addition to the survey, Quilcene Superintendent Frank Redmon hosted a public meeting on the clinic in August, for the public to ask questions of him as well as staff from Jefferson County Public Health and Jefferson Healthcare.
The proposed school-based health center (SBHC) would operate one to two days a week for a total of eight hours and would be located at the Quilcene Elementary School, 294715 U.S. Highway 101, Redmon said.
“I am really excited about it,” Redmon said. “The ability of our students to have quick access to this primary care reduces the barriers for them because as remote as we are, it takes at least a half a day for the students to travel to get care.
“It’s great for learning and great for our families in the community.”
The clinic would be available primarily only to Quilcene students, but Brinnon students may be able to use it on case-by-case emergency basis, Redmon said.
The SBHC will be able to provide such services 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, Redmon said.
It will offer primary medical care in addition to the mental health services that have already been in place, bringing services offered in line with those at Chimacum and Port Townsend school health centers, Boyd said.
The SBHC will be available to all Quilcene students, kindergarten through 12th grade.
For more information, call Public Health at 360-385-9400, or Moss at 360-302-1294.
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected].