LP schools to launch health clinic

July 11, 2018 GMT

La PORTE — The La Porte Community School Corp. will launch a school based health clinic for all students in the school system with the start of the 2018-19 school year.

La Porte Hospital CEO Ashley Dickinson and La Porte Hospital Business Development Specialist Angie Leffler presented the plan for the Slicer Health Clinic of La Porte Physician Network at the July 9 La Porte Community School Board meeting.

The clinic is a collaborative effort between the La Porte Community School Corp., the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte,and La Porte Hospital to assist students and families in obtaining supporting medical care for LPCSC students.

Services will include injury and illness assessments and interventions, medication administration as needed, chronic disease management, communicable disease control and immunization requirements.

“This is one that I think there’s a big need in various schools to making sure that the students have the appropriate vaccines for the school year and in a timely basis,” Dickinson said regarding immunization requirements.

Care coordination with the family’s established healthcare will be a priority for the clinic.

“The goal of this is to not become the primary care physician or nurse practitioner for the student, but it’s really to help coordinate that care between whoever their established provider is within the community,” Dickinson said.

The K-12 clinic will be based at the La Porte High School and use telemedicine, as well as mobile visits to assist students in the elementary schools. Currently, plans are to locate the clinic in the existing nurse’s office, though additional space may be considered for the future.

Start-up costs for the clinic will be funded in part by an expected grant from the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte, said Dickinson. The grant is estimated to cover funding for the nurse practitioner, clinic staff, medical equipment and office supplies.

The clinic will be staffed during the school year with a nurse practitioner and at least one medical assistant. Hours of operation will be from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. to coincide with the school day.

“I think that this will really benefit our community and our school. We have a couple of goals, including reduced absenteeism and so that is one of the things that we’re really geared toward making sure that we’re keeping our kids healthy and keeping them in school and taken care of,” said Dickinson.

In unrelated news, David Merkel, of Larson-Danielson Construction, updated the board on continuing construction at the La Porte High School, Handley Elementary School and Kesling School sites. Merkel reported all projects are on schedule and on budget.

Handley Elementary School will be open this August for the coming school year. The Performing Arts Center at La Porte High School is set to open in October 2018 and the Kesling Intermediate campus will be completed for the following 2018-19 school year.

The Riley Elementary School counseling program has been approved for the Indiana Gold Star School Counseling Award, presented by the Indiana Department of Education, for their work on the Guiding All Kids initiative.

Kesling teacher Barb Hooper retired at the end of the 2017-18 school year after 40 years of service. Ramona Warg, Human Resources Administrative Assistant, will be retiring on Jan. 3, 2019 after 29 years of service. Lisa Marks will be joining Boston Middle School as the new assistant principal. Marks is a graduate of the Aspiring Principals Academy.

Chief Financial Officer Mark Hunt reported on the final issue and sale of bonds, closed on June 28. The winning bid and purchaser was Piper Jaffray at 3.533 percent. According to Hunt, bond premiums came in at $2,437,770.80, putting this last issue at $18,437,770. 80. The additional revenue will go toward some other projects coinciding with the feasibility study, said Hunt.

The board approved acceptance of a $20,000 donation from American Licorice Company to support the Slicer Champions Mentoring Program.