YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown City School District is adding wellness centers to East and Chaney high schools.
Over at East High School, the nurse’s clinic will be expanded in November, creating more room for the wellness center, which will be open to students and staff.
“We’re bringing the full-service clinic model just like if you had a doctor’s office at another location or nurse practitioner’s office. We’re bringing it inside the school system,” said Dr. Lena Esmail, with QuickMed Urgent Care.
Kenyetta Burr, supervisor of nursing at Youngstown City Schools, says the wellness centers are much needed and long overdue.
“The nurses are seeing at least 100 kids a week for some elements they cannot treat, whether it’s because we don’t have the diagnostic tools or because it’s out of that nurse’s scope of practice,” Burr said.
Youngstown City Schools’ nursing staff will be going through training in collaboration with QuickMed.
Dr. Esmail says clinics like these are important because as suburbs grow, the urban population gets left behind, making it harder to find medical care.
“The core of the problem is not the lack of health insurance, most children in this area have health insurance. The core of the problem simply is that there is a lack of access to local providers and coupled with the lack of transportation,” Dr. Esmail said.
The wellness centers will be taking in students with or without health insurance.
“We’re looking at pre-employment physicals and opportunities with them as well as some wellness initiatives for our staff throughout the year,” said Youngstown Schools Chief of Staff Jeremy Batchelor.
The clinic at East High School will be open to students and staff on Nov. 9.
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