School-based health clinics come to Paducah, KY - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

School-based health clinics come to Paducah, KY

PADUCAH, KY (KFVS) -

Classes are back in session and students are heading back to school. In Paducah, Kentucky, doctors are coming along too.

 “Whenever I told my mom that there was going to be a doctor on campus, she was like hallelujah,” high school student, Barton Christmas said.

A school-based health clinic has officially made its new home at McCracken County High School, hoping to reduce the amount of missed classes due to sickness.

“The convenient thing is that parents don’t have to leave work,” Baptist Health nurse practitioner, Teresa Morgan said. “Their student, if they’re sick, they can be seen here for any minor illnesses or injuries. We can evaluate them, we can treat them and prescribe their care all here during the school day.”

With nurse practitioners on site, students say it’s one less added stress.

“It’s great, because you know taking all honors and AP classes , it’s very important that I’m in much of those classes,” high school student Carter Bullare said.

“Now, you’ve got this safety net of – first of all you’re not missing class, which is extremely important and second of all, you don’t have as much as a worry of your safety level at school,” Christmas said. “Obviously you never worry about am I going to be safe here, but you worry about your health issues get in the way of what you can do around other people.”

Mental Health services will also be provided through Four Rivers Behavioral Health.

“We’ll have licensed counselors on staff part of the day – they will offer behavioral counseling and substance abuse counseling,” Morgan said.

The clinics will not only be used by students and teachers, but intermediate family members will be able to use them as well.

This high school is one of quite a few in the area that has school-based health clinics.

The city’s Board of Education recently approved the agreements to establish clinics at two other schools, McNabb Elementary and Paducah Tilghman High School.

And this is only one year after a pilot program at Morgan Elementary showed how successful the clinic was.

Mercy Medical Associates will operate McNabb Elementary and Morgan Elementary.

Baptist Health Paducah will run the clinics at McCracken County High School and Paducah Tilghman High School.

The clinics accept all major health care insurance plans. No money will be collected at clinics, patients will be billed. 

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