Health access just got a little bit closer for northside residents.
Two school-based health centers located on the campuses of Ribault Middle and High Schools will provide a comprehensive pediatric medical home and health care to public school students and those under age 21. The health centers will be staffed by licensed health care professionals, who will be available weekdays to assist students.
With aid offering more than just a school nurse, School-Based Health Center services will be providing under the direction of a dedicated pediatrician and full-time nurse practitioner. It also establishes a “medical home” within the geographic area for those who need it.
When health care is accessed in schools, students benefit because they don’t have to travel to find clinical care. Parents benefit because they don’t have to take time off work, and the schools benefit because students spend more time in the classroom. “We know that wellness is critical, not just because of its inextricable link to academic success among our students, but also for the improved quality of life it provides to our children and communities,” said DCPS Superintendent Dr. Patricia Willis.
“The things that make kids healthy are not always effectively addressed in a clinical setting,” said Mikah Owen, MD, MPH, who specializes in pediatrics at UF Health Jacksonville and serves as the medical director of the school-based health centers. “We feel fortunate to be able to help these kids with whatever they are dealing with — whether it’s toxic stress or access to fresh groceries.” said Nurse practitioner Christie Johnson.