- Michael D. Clark Staff Writer
When Middletown opens its new high school campus next year it will come with the city’s first on-campus, comprehensive healthcare option for city school students.
A medical clinic is planned for the basement of Middletown High School’s building currently being expanded and renovated as part of a $96 million project to also construct a new middle school next to the high school.
The health facility, which will also provide dental, vision and behavioral care for students, their families and school staff, is modeled after two other on-campus clinics opened since 2016 in Fairfield and Hamilton school systems.
“This is more than just an investment in the healthcare of the current students and their families, but this will change the trajectory of many of these student’s lives,” said Stephen Roller, chief operating officer and chief clinical officer for Primary Health Solutions Inc., which also operates the clinics for Fairfield and Hamilton schools.
“Long-term this creates a healthier community,” Roller said. “The data shows that healthier individuals become better students and better students lead to a better prepared workforce, which will be the engine that drives economic growth in Middletown and Butler County.”
He said Primary Health Solutions “understands the importance of accessible and affordable healthcare to students and families throughout the community, which is why the (clinic) will provide care to all students who have parental permission regardless of insurance coverage or ability to pay.”
The Hamilton-based health care provider has already opened a similar clinic in Middletown at 1036 South Verity Parkway and that facility will remain open after the new school campus clinic opens in fall 2018, officials said.
That time frame will also mark the opening of the new Middletown Middle School and a renovated high school.
Both Fairfield and Hamilton school officials have touted their on-campus clinics as significant assets in the overall improvement of student and staff health during the school year.
“Fairfield’s School-Based Health Center has helped our students and our school community by providing affordable and quality vision, medical, and dental care,” said Jeff Madden, director of student services for the district.
“We have reached thousands of patients in the two years it’s been open, we have given children their first pair of glasses, helped students see the dentist for the first time, and helped families gain access to medical care who previously didn’t have access,” he said.
He added, “the partnership with Primary Health Solutions … has changed the lives of many. Its inspiring to see our school-based health center model being reviewed and implemented by other local districts as they too recognize the need and benefit in improving their children’s health which will ultimately benefit their children’s education.”