Adair Progress, Columbia, April 23, 2015
School Board Partners With
Cumberland Family Medical
Agreement will establish clinics in each of Adair County’s four schools
By Wes Feese
Dr. Eric Loy spoke before the Adair County School Board and Superintendent Alan Reed last Thursday evening at the Board’s April meeting, and introduced a proposed partnership that would establish Cumberland Family Medical, Inc., clinics in each of the county’s four schools — Adair Primary Center, Adair County Elementary, Adair County Middle School, and Adair County High School.
Loy said that the agreement could have an important impact on the community both short term, by helping create a healthier and more focused student body; and long term, by creating a culture where people get acclimated to seeing doctors and nurses for physicals and regular checkups on a consistent basis.
“[Healthcare] is an important aspect of teaching children, “Loy said. “We have a chance to change the culture of health care in Kentucky.”
The partnership — on a motion from Mike Harris and second from Terry Harvey — will be implemented next school year, at a cost of about $80,000, roughly the same cost the district currently pays for school nurses. If the trial run next year is successful, both parties will have options to continue the agreement.
While complimenting the dedication and service of Adair County’s school nurses over the years, Reed acknowledged that rates for these nurses were “soaring,” and that another method of healthcare for students might be beneficial.
“This is kind of a novel approach, and from all we’ve seen, we really like it,” Reed said. “It cuts down on time and any barriers for a kid getting health care.”
Loy agreed with Reed’s assessment.
“A lot of times that’s the barrier,” Loy said. “That it’s hard [for parents] to miss work.”
There is precedent for this type of agreement. Loy said that CFMC currently has five Healthy Kids clinics in the Russell County school system.
These in-school clinics would be manned by a full-time nurse practitioner that travels between schools, and a physician will oversee the clinics. Loy said that all forms of insurance would be accepted, and that all children would be seen and treated, regardless of their ability to pay. He also said that the clinics could help out with insurance enrollment.
Parents would have to grant permission for students to be treated by the clinics.
Loy asked that the schools simply provide a space for the clinic, allow for use of utilities, janitor services, and assist in communication with parents.
“From our angle, this sounds heavenly,” ACPC principal Patty Jones said, adding that sick students sometimes have to sit in an office or lobby all day because working parents are unable to come pick the students up and take them to a doctor. ACES principal Steve Burton agreed with Jones’ assessment.
Director of Pupil Personnel Robbie Harmon said that this move could have a bigger long-term impact on the community than any project he’s worked on in his time in the school system.
In other business Thursday:
# The Board recognized this year’s Governor’s Scholars and Rogers Scholars from Adair County High School. Riley Grant, Aaran Taylor, and Sarah McQuaide were each honored for participating in Governor’s Scholars, and Destiny Kinnett was recognized for being a Rogers Scholar. Jessi Taylor and Timothy Watson were also Governor’s Scholars this year, but were not in attendance.
“My hat’s off to you all,” Board member Terry Harvey said to the group. “You’ve all really tried and done well.”
# The Board also recognized the high school’s welding team, which is led by welding instructor Barney Taylor. The squad recently won a regional competition and now moves on to compete at the state level. Several Adair County students have already earned their welding certification.
“They don’t realize it, but they’re making history,” Taylor said of his team and students for being the first to earn the certification.
All Board members were present for the meeting.