LAKEWOOD, Ohio - Lakewood High School hopes it’s new Cleveland Clinic medical center, inside the school, makes healthcare easier to access for students.
The four-room medical center is staffed by a nurse practitioner, a pediatric psychiatrist, and a behavioral health specialist.
The staff can write prescriptions, do physicals, vaccinations, help manage diabetes and asthma.
The behavioral health experts can counsel students who are dealing with sensitive mental health issues like depression and suicidal thoughts.
“We do follow up appointments regarding depression, anxiety things like obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, especially focusing on things like school avoidance, other psychosocial stressers that kids might come into contact with,” said Darcie Murphy a Nurse Practitioner with the Cleveland Clinic.
Murphy said students who feel healthier, physically and mentally, are more focused and do better academically.
It’s also hoped the medical center will help reduce absenteeism
“The clinic was put in with the idea that we can help provide care and easy access to care for the students, hopefully, make them more successful overall,” Murphy said.
The cost is billed to the parent’s health care provider.
Students who want to see the traditional school nurse still can for free, for minor health issues.
The medical center is open before and after school as well to help busy parents.
“If a parent is unable to come get their student, but would like their student evaluated for strep, or multiple headaches, things like that, we can see the student then,” Murphy said.
Despite the closing of Lakewood Hospital, students who choose to can still go to the hospital’s outpatient health center which remains open.
If they want to go to the medical center inside their school, just feet from their classrooms, they can do so with a parent’s consent.
The Cleveland Clinic also plans to open more medical centers inside other schools.
“Lakewood made a commitment that we needed to look at both of the mental and physical well-being, that if students aren’t in school they can’t be successful, they can’t achieve academically, so in order to do that we have to take care of not only their physical needs but also their mental health needs, and through the collaboration between the Cleveland Clinic and Lakewood schools the medical center in our school began,” said Lisa Burning with the Lakewood School District.
More than a hundred students have already signed up to be treated at the medical center which opened just last month.
Teachers and staff can also be treated at the medical center, but it's not open to the public.