The Norman Transcript

Education

August 6, 2013

NPS taking a clinical approach

NORMAN — A memorandum of agreement between Norman Public Schools and Variety Care, Inc. approved by the Norman School Board Monday will establish a fully-functioning health clinic at Longfellow Middle School this fall.

“This memorandum of agreement is a step in the direction of using the district’s community collaborations to make our schools a link between students and families and appropriate health services,” said Superintendent Joe Siano. “Services will include immunizations, wellness checkups, sick child visits, and if further services are needed, the clinic will refer patients to partner agencies through Variety Care.”

Siano said the decision to locate the clinic at Longfellow was based on Longfellow’s central location and proximity to Norman Regional Hospital, where pediatric physicians will act as the clinic’s supervising doctors.

“We’re building on the philosophy of collaborations and what makes our district strong — we’re not the specialists in everything, and we can’t succeed in academics without good health services for our students and their families,” Siano said.

Variety Care Regional Manager Brian Karnes said the clinic will serve Longfellow students and their families, integrating services for the surrounding community and entire NPS staff and students once the clinic is fully operational.

“Our plan is to start with Longfellow families and expand quickly as need demands,” Karnes said. “What we’re looking at is embedding a mid-level nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant in the school to provide comprehensive services in conjunction with NPS health staff. Children with chronic needs will be served and full services for family and staff - it will be just like visiting your doctor and speaking to a mid-level practitioner in their office.”

The clinic floor plan will ensure that visitors use a separate, exterior door from the school building to enter and exit, and the clinic will not have access to the main school building for both security purposes and to allow year-round functioning.

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