First look: Public tours Fairfield’s in-school clinic

The better you feel, the better you learn. That’s the goal behind the creation of one of the region’s first suburban school clinics.

Fairfield City Schools' new School Based Health Center will help eliminate barriers to learning and provide families with resources they might not otherwise be able to access.

More than 80 visitors on Thursday toured the medical center at 211 Donald Drive.

“This is awesome and a great option for students. It’s a one-stop shop,” said Fairfield school parent Sally Hathaway after seeing the state-of-art medical, dental and vision offices at the health center.

The mother of four Fairfield students said it will make life easier for school families, especially those struggling financially or families simply busy and challenged in getting timely healthcare for their student-age children.

“Parents won’t have to call and make a doctor’s appointment but can just come over here,” Hathaway said of the center, which is short walking distance from three Fairfield schools in the 9,000-student school system.

While urban school systems have pioneered similar on-campus medical centers, suburban schools are only recently adopting them. The 2,600-square-foot Fairfield center is largely funded through private partnerships with Primary Health Solutions and health care providers.

Primary Health Solutions is also sponsoring Hamilton Schools' first in-school clinic, which is scheduled to open in March at Garfield Middle School.

The clinic's operation costs for the first two years will be paid for by a $200,000 grant, after which the clinic would be self-sustaining, officials said.

After looking over the shining new dental chairs, medical and vision equipment Diane Ruder, president of the Fairfield Community Foundation — which contributed financially to the clinic — was impressed.

“I’m totally amazed. Any family who has a child served by this will be blessed. This is a significant investment in the health care needs for our community,” Ruder said.

Fairfield Mayor Steve Miller agreed, saying the positive impact of the clinic reaches well beyond the school grounds.

“This is a fantastic idea and a great way to keep the kids in their classroom seats and learning,” Miller said.