Fairfield Schools’ 1st clinic showing healthy results

The first-ever medical clinic at Fairfield Schools is reporting healthy results.

"It's been above our expectations," said Marc Bellisario, CEO of Primary Health Solutions with whom Fairfield City Schools partnered with in opening Butler County's first on-campus health center.

“We’ve seen approximately 1,600 patient visits since we opened in January,” Bellisario said.

“And what we like is that all of the center’s services are being used. The medical, dental, vision and behavioral health. So students and their families are making use of all the services,” he said.

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

Among those to have used its services is Fairfield school parent Lydia Brown, who this week brought her ill second grade daughter to the clinic. It wasn’t the first time Brown had her child treated at the school health center.

“It’s a great idea and I like the location. The clinic is very clean and the people there are friendly,” said Brown.

“So many other doctors’ offices are always so crowded and they tell you there is no room for new patients,” she said.

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 City Schools' first in-school clinic, which opened in March at Garfield Middle School as the county's second, on-campus health center.

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.

Bellisario said many similar clinics around the nation close during summer break but his company took a different strategy.

“We believe that if you want people to continue to use it they have to know it is there and available when they need it and not just during the school year. We are looking at keeping people healthy and they have health needs during the summer time,” he said.

Fairfield City Schools spokeswoman Gina Gentry-Fletcher said the district also considers the clinic to be a success and appreciates its year-around approach to providing service.

“The center has been a valuable asset to our school community and has helped many students and their families this school year,” said Gentry-Fletcher. “With it being open in the summer, the staff can continue to give families access to the medical, dental, vision and mental health services offered. It is a win for all.”

About the Author