HOBART | St. Mary Medical Center and the School City of Hobart have partnered to open the Brickie Community Health Clinic. The school-based clinic is designed to provide convenient access to high-quality health services in a welcoming setting for students and employees. A ribbon cutting ceremony and open house for the new clinic will be held Tuesday, October 29, 2013, from 4–7 p.m., at Hobart High School, 2211 E. 10th Street, Door 11.
“The formation of the Brickie Community Health Clinic is a natural progression of the long-standing relationship we have with St. Mary Medical Center,” said Peggy Buffington, PhD, superintendent of the School City of Hobart. “The hospital has been very involved with current programming in the district. Now we are moving forward with achieving the goal of improving the overall health of our students and employees.”
Buffington adds that as part of this ongoing partnership, the hospital sponsors Parents as Teachers (PAT), which is a parenting program for children from birth to kindergarten. The hospital also helped bring the first Teaching Garden to Hobart in addition to diabetes education programs at the elementary schools. They co-sponsor the Emergency Rescue Technology Class which teaches emergency rescue at Hobart High School, as well as providing internships to The Project Lead the Way BioMedical Program students.
“St. Mary Medical Center is committed to addressing the health needs of our communities in a meaningful way,” added Janice Ryba, hospital CEO. “The Brickie Community Health Clinic will not only provide easy access to needed health services; it will allow us to provide education, preventive medicine and prompt attention to medical needs when they first appear – before they develop into more serious conditions. It will also provide another forum to address some of the identified community health needs across our communities, such as obesity, diabetes, and barriers to practicing healthy lifestyles.”
Located at Hobart High School, the Brickie Community Health Clinic is open to all School City of Hobart students and employees. Parents and employees must pre-register with the clinic which will offer basic primary care services: school or sports physicals, vaccinations, flu shots and basic lab services (including urinalysis, glucose, rapid strep, and blood draws), as well as health education and health-risk assessments. The clinic will be staffed with a certified family nurse practitioner and medical assistant. Both are part of the hospital’s affiliated physician network, Community Care Network, Inc.
“As a family nurse practitioner, I collaborate with healthcare professionals to assess, diagnose, treat and manage a patient’s health needs,” said Julie Burk, FNP, at the Brickie Community Health Clinic. “My goal is to make students feel comfortable and create an atmosphere of trust and support. I want them to feel welcome and have confidence in me to provide them with accurate and reliable health information and treatment,” she said.
School-based health clinics are a growing national trend in communities. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are more than 2,000 such centers operating nationwide. In addition to providing age-appropriate health services, the centers emphasize preventive medicine, early intervention and health risk reduction. Like all school-based health clinics, the Brickie Community Health Clinic will provide services that are based on the student and community needs, as well as the philosophy of the school administration.
“The benefits of this clinic go beyond individual healthcare,” said Buffington. “It embeds health into our educational environment and creates a supportive atmosphere for strong academic achievement. We thoroughly believe that a healthy student is a successful student.”