By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
LINCOLN PARK – Lincoln Park Public Schools and the Henry Ford Health System Department of Pediatrics will open a health and wellness clinic at Lincoln Park High School in the fall for students.
The goal of the new school-based community health clinic is to increase student access to health care services to all students within the system.
Supt. Terry Dangerfield said he was thankful that Lincoln Park is the first Downriver district chosen to participate in the health and wellness program.
“This partnership will help us meet the individual health needs of students in our community by making it easier for them to access vital healthcare services they need,” Dangerfield said.
The clinic will be staffed by a registered nurse and a licensed social worker, and will provide basic primary health care and behavioral health services to students ages 4 to 21, with services to age 26 for special education students.
Services provided include care for common illnesses and injuries, mental health evaluation and treatment plan development, counseling for health evaluation and risk reduction, and referrals to other HFHS sites for services beyond the scope of the clinic.
Christie Wilkewitz, group practice director for HFHS School-Based and Community Health Programs, said she has seen first-hand the need for the expansion of medical and mental health-based services for youth Downriver.
“I am honored to represent Henry Ford Health System in this partnership with Lincoln Park Public Schools to create an innovative model of care for students,” Wilkewitz said.
Parents of LPPS students will be given consent forms to complete to enable students to receive services. Students will be able to walk in to receive services at any time with teacher permission, or may make an appointment.
Students from other LPPS buildings will also have access to the clinic, and parents will be notified when arrangements need to be made for their child to see the nurse.
The clinic will be open year-round, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with priority given to LPPS students.
LPPS school nurse consultant Mandy Mercer said the new health and wellness center will provide a “tremendous” opportunity to help improve the lives and health of Downriver students.
“Offering students these free services at the high school will eliminate some of the barriers that have historically prevented students in our area from receiving the health care services they need,” Mercer said.
The clinic will be one of four new school health centers opening in the fall. Since 1995, the school-based program has operated school health centers in Detroit, Highland Park and Macomb County, and currently operates in 11 schools in the region.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at [email protected])