By Kate Anslinger
Representatives of the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) made an appearance at Monday night’s School Committee meeting to discuss the possibility of establishing a clinic in the new high school/middle school.
The clinic would be designed to provide comprehensive health care, physicals, immunization, sports injuries and behavioral issues for students who attend the school.
“The clinic that we recently opened at East Boston High School has been very successful,” said EBNHC Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jackie Santis. “As pediatricians, we are happy to offer preventative care and advice. We enjoy giving families the much needed information.”
The clinic would not only offer a convenient location, but it would be easily accessible for students who need to get physicals upon starting the school year or starting a new sport.
“We are lacking pediatrics in Winthrop,” said Winthrop town Public Health Nurse, Meredith Hurley. “All kids are going out of town for their appointments, so the school clinic would make it easier. The biggest thing now is mental health. Schools are being tasked with so much more mental health education and having the clinic would take that pressure off the nurses and faculty. Any partnership that can be formed to benefit students is huge.”
The questions that remain to be answered are the space availability in the new middle/high school and confirming that the clinic would not cause detrimental insurance issues for the families.
The clinic will not have any effect on the two designated school nurse positions, but instead will offer that additional support that will be needed in the future.
“There is no denying that students come in to school with health problems that affect learning, said School Committee Chair Dawn Sullivan.
“In the future we will need this type of clinic in the high school.”