In a first for Shawnee Mission, new school-based health clinic for students opening at Merriam Park Elementary

Jay Senter - January 26, 2018 11:30 am
Health Partnership Clinic has provided a variety of community-based services for 25 years. The new clinic at Merriam Park Elementary will offer both medical and behavioral services. Photo via HPC.
Health Partnership Clinic has provided a variety of community-based services for 25 years. The new clinic at Merriam Park Elementary will offer both medical and behavioral services. Photo via HPC.

A medical services provider focused on improving access for people in underserved populations will open a new school-based operation in the Shawnee Mission district next week.

Health Partnership Clinics, which has its own facilities in Olathe, Merriam, Paola and Ottawa, on Tuesday will begin offering services on site at Merriam Park Elementary. The initial hours for the new clinic will be 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday for walk-in health services; and 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays for behavioral health services.

Though the clinic will be located on the Merriam Park campus, it will be open to all Shawnee Mission students including students enrolled in the district’s Early Childhood Education Center. The clinic will not be open to any other members of the community.

“The idea is to break down barriers to health care,” said Shelby Rebeck, the district’s health services coordinator. “Barriers for many of our students include low income, lack of awareness, lack of transportation and parents’/guardians’ inability to take time away from work. Health Partnership provides a tremendous opportunity for our students to receive critical health care so that they can be successful in school.”

The clinic will accept a variety of payment methods, including KanCare (the state’s Medicaid program), traditional insurance, and out-of-pocket payments on a sliding scale for uninsured patients who qualify.

Merriam Park Principal Chaussee Druen said she believed the new clinic would help improve the health of the school’s students and in turn the academic outcomes for kids.

“The school-based health clinic will greatly expand the resources of our school nurse and social worker, and we hope to see improvement in attendance and student achievement,” Druen said in a statement.

Merriam_Park_Elementary
Merriam Park Elementary, a Title 1 school, has a relatively high proportion of students enrolled in the free-and-reduced lunch programs.

Merriam Park students’ vision for a trip to the bottom of the sea earns it a spot among finalists in Battle of the Brains competition

Coming face-to-face with a giant humpback whale. Darting between the stinging tentacles of a jelly fish. Climbing up a wall of sea coral. These