Area’s first school-based clinic in Hannibal costs district only a sidewalk, offers cost-saving health care

Posted: Aug. 12, 2017 6:05 pm

HANNIBAL, Mo. — About five months ago, the idea of having a health clinic on the Hannibal School District campus was embryonic.

There is only a handful of school districts throughout Missouri that have a clinic on site — Hannibal School Board members say they are aware of only five — and when board members listened to and viewed those five schools present on their school-based clinics, they knew they wanted to bring that concept to Hannibal.

School is back in session Aug. 17, and when school doors open, so will the area’s first school-based health clinic.

Only cost is a sidewalk

“In the past, I had given school-based clinics a passing thought, but I never thought much of it,” Superintendent Susan Johnson said. It wasn’t until about a year ago that she attended a meeting in Columbia, Mo., and the clinics were discussed.

“Hannibal was identified as a district that would benefit from a clinic because of its demographics,” Johnson explained.

Within the next several months, Johnson and other board members began meeting with area health care providers to see if they would like to partner for an at-school clinic. Ultimately, Clarity Healthcare, 141 Communication Drive, was chosen.

“Clarity, for a variety of reasons, already works with many of our students, and what they offered met closest with what we wanted for students,” Johnson said.

Next, a name for the clinic was chosen: Pirates Access to Treatment with Clarity Healthcare, to be known as the PATCH Center. Clarity is providing a nurse practitioner, nurse, counselor, custodial employee and receptionist to house the clinic 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Special Services building at the corner of McMasters Avenue and Pirate Pride Drive.

Clarity also is covering all clinic costs, including remodeling the building. The only cost to the school district, now and in the future, was installing a sidewalk leading to the front…

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