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Clinics based on school campuses is aim of Montgomery plan

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A nonprofit health care organization in Montgomery County wants to put clinics on Montgomery school campuses to provide medical and dental care.

The plan would involve a partnership between Health Services Inc. and Montgomery Public Schools, The Montgomery Advertiser reported.

The partnership would be at zero cost to the school system and would benefit students and staff, Health Services Inc. CEO Gilbert Darrington recently told the school board.

The school-based clinics could provide any health service offered in their facilities, including dental, behavioral health, and optometry, Darrington said.

“Imagine a student with a toothache or that can’t see sitting in class. It’s going to be hard to learn,” he said.

Nationwide, there are about 2,000 school-based clinics, Darrington told the board. He said they have a track record of decreasing absenteeism and increasing grades.

The clinics could prevent the need for children to be checked out of school to attend appointments and parents needing to take off work, the Montgomery newspaper reported.

The clinics would not interfere or substitute the services provided by the nurse’s office in schools, Darrington said.

They would likely be located in a fixed space provided by the district, or through a mobile unit outside.

Superintendent Ann Roy Moore told the board that she has met with Darrington on multiple occasions and they have looked at potential spaces in different schools that could be used for clinics. The ideal situation would be to have both a fixed space and mobile unit, they said.

Health Services provides medical care to people who are insured, underinsured and uninsured in 10 Alabama counties.

The organization uses federal grants to provide health services.

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