HANNIBAL, Mo. -- The Hannibal School District is considering creating a school-based health clinic that would allow students and their families access to health care provided on campus.
Superintendent Susan Johnson and other school faculty have begun meeting with area health care providers about the idea. Thus far, they have met with Hannibal Regional Hospital/Hannibal Medical Group, Hannibal Clinic and Clarity/Preferred Family Healthcare.
"All agencies unanimously agreed that this could be a positive partnership for our students, families and staff," Johnson said at Wednesday's School Board meeting.
Each organization has discussed what services it could provide to the school-based clinic.
"Although this initiative is still in the development stages, I can foresee asking the board to make a motion to make this idea into a reality," Johnson said.
Board members discussed how a school-based health clinic could provide services that improve the social, emotional and behavioral health of students, as well as minimize adverse effects on their academic success, such as absences. In addition, parents wouldn't need to take time off to take a child to a clinic, and students would be able to spend more time in the classroom.
"This can not only provide easier health care access to our students and families, but it also may provide some savings of school district dollars by working through this on-site health clinic," Johnson said.
Johnson is part of a School Based Health Clinic Initiative Task Force facilitated by the Missouri School Board Association and has been attending meetings in Columbia to learn more about such clinics. She has reached out to districts across the state that have such clinics to see if they've been successful.
Johnson said she has been hearing encouraging feedback.