JESSIEVILLE, Ark – A new addition to the Jessieville School District has students going from the classroom to the doctor’s office in a matter of minutes.
The district opened the doors to its health and wellness center about a month ago, serving students and staff just like a doctor’s office would.
“You can be seen for fevers, ear infections, cuts, scrapes, bumps and bruises,” Jessieville School Based Health Center Coordinator Alyssa Pierce said.
Inside the center are patient rooms for students and teachers. A nurse practitioner from CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs is also in the building to lead any appointments or checkups.
Pierce is the head of the center and a mother of two. She says this center was designed in part for parents like herself.
“We kind of live in a rural area,” Pierce said.
Pierce says when she takes her kids to the doctors, it takes about an hour to drive there and back and that’s not including the visit itself.
“The kids are missing at the very least, half a day of school and most of the time, they don’t come back,” Jessieville Superintendent Melissa Spears said.
The new center cuts that time down to just minutes with the hope that students can get checked and head back to class.
The same goes for teachers who now can visit the ‘doctor’ on their lunch break instead of having to find a substitute to cover their class for a day.
Superintendent Spears says along with checkups, the nurse practitioner can also conduct return to play physicals. This is for student athletes who have recovered from covid-19. In the past it could take days to get an appointment with a doctor to be cleared to play, now the district says it’s a matter of walking down the hall.
In the coming months, the district says they want to open the center to the community, so they can get closer care.
Pierce says the center was funded using a grant the school had applied for.
All insurance goes through CHI St. Vincent.