The Slicer Health Clinic, a service of the LaPorte Physician Network, is open for business to serve all students within the LaPorte Community School Corp., thanks to a grant from the Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte and support from the school board and LaPorte Hospital administration.
The clinic, located at LaPorte High School and accessible through the main entrance at 602 F St., is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays in conjunction with the school calendar. LaPorte Physician Network nurse practitioner Elisa Bergquist and medical assistant Lauryn Jones care for students at the clinic.
Research shows that student-based health clinics improve the health of student bodies by providing access to services at the time they are needed, the hospital says.
It also helps to instill healthy behaviors in young students and teens, when they are more likely to form good habits that last a lifetime.
“We see the Slicer Health Clinic as an extension of the primary care provider or pediatrician role," said LaPorte Hospital CEO Ashley Dickinson.
"The nurse practitioner coordinates any care provided at the clinic with the student’s primary care provider, while helping the student to manage any immediate health needs."
The clinic is convenient for parents whose children may need to be seen by a health care provider but cannot obtain a same-day appointment during the school day.
While the clinic is located at the high school, any student in the corporation may use it after parents complete an enrollment and consent packet. If driving your child to the clinic, it’s best to avoid clinic use between 2 and 3 p.m., when the busses are making their way in and out of the school lot.
Maria Fruth, CEO of the Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte, said the topic of a student-based health clinic has been discussed for several years, and the foundation is pleased to see it come to fruition. The grant provided was for $165,323.
“The Healthcare Foundation of La Porte seeks to support our community’s journey to becoming one of the healthiest communities in Indiana," she said.
Services provided at the clinic include diagnosis and treatment of illness and injuries; physical exams and sports physicals; immunizations and some lab tests; management of chronic health conditions; prescription and over-the-counter medications; promotion of healthy life choices; and referrals for specialty care, including behavioral health and dental care.
Parents or guardians must complete and sign a permission form for enroll each child younger than 18 in the clinic. Students ages 18 or older can sign permission forms for themselves.
Completed forms should be submitted to the child’s school, upon which the child then will be eligible to receive services at the clinic during the 2018-19 school year. Insurance will be billed, and if patients are uninsured, assistance will be provided to enroll the student in the appropriate government insurance program.