Healthy start for Fairfield Schools’ on-campus clinic

Butler County’s first on-campus school medical clinic is working at a healthy pace at the end of its first year, according to a recent report by Fairfield school officials.

The clinic, which is also the first of its kind in Fairfield, has served more than 5,000 student and adult patients since it opened in January 2016.

The private industry and public school experiment in widening access to health care was designed as a new option for Fairfield Schools students, their families and school staffers.

“In its first year the health center has met the goal of providing a place for students and their families to receive health care that they may not otherwise have access to,” said Fairfield Schools spokeswoman Gina Gentry-Fletcher.

The clinic, which also provides dental, vision care and counseling services, has served 5,068 patients since it opened, for an average of 18 patients daily, according to a report recently presented to the Fairfield school board.

Of that first-year total, the clinic served 2,803 patients who were younger than 18 years old and 2,265 patients who were 19 years or older, according to the district.

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The clinic at 211 Donald Drive is a short walking distance from three Fairfield schools in the 9,000-student school system.

“The ability to have students seen throughout their school day is invaluable to those parents who are unable to leave work and it benefits the students by getting them early care so that their illness is not prolonged and they are able to return to school more quickly,” said Pamela Bueler, a school nurse at Fairfield Intermediate.

“As the school nurse, I find it very helpful to give the center as a viable option for those families who may not have an established health care provider or have difficulty finding care due to their insurance or lack there of,” she said.

Marc Bellisario, chief executive officer for Primary Health Solutions, praised the partnerships among the school district, Interact for Health, Deaconess Health Check, Sears Optical, One Sight, Delta Dental and others. That partnerships, he said, “has enabled us to create a state-of-the-art facility that allows us to deliver excellent, innovative and fully integrated care to the community of Fairfield.”

“When we look back at the data for the first year, we know that what we are really seeing is that we are definitely filling a gap. Children and families are receiving services that they have not had access to,” Bellisario said.

The center is still accepting new patients, and is open Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 am until 5 pm. To schedule an appointment, call 513-454-1111.

“Removing this (access) barrier has been a top priority for us,” Gentry-Fletcher said. “Moving forward, we will continue to encourage families to sign their kids up for this full service health care opportunity. It is a win for all.”

Hamilton Schools also opened a Primary Health Solutions health center in 2016 inside Garfield Middle School.

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