HOPE, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – Students in one southwest Arkansas school district can now go from homeroom to the waiting room for a medical appointment without ever leaving campus.
Dozens of community members gathered Tuesday for the grand opening of the Bobcat Clinic at Hope High School. It’s the first school-based health clinic in this region of the state, and located next to the football field, it’s easily accessibly to students.
“I feel like we have an advantage over other schools, because if I need anything done, I don’t have to go off the campus to a clinic or anything, it’s right here on campus,” said Brandon Maxfield, a senior.
Hope Public Schools Superintendent Bobby Hart said the clinic is the result of a grant valued at more than $500,000, and overwhelming community support to help provide quality crae to all students in the district.
“They get the treatment they need, they get the healthcare prevention also in many regards that they need, and so it’s a win-win,” said Hart.
The clinic will be staffed Monday through Friday by a full-time nurse practitioner. Mental health and counseling services are also available. It’s all in an effort to make care as convenient as possible for students.
“Hopefully we can get them back to school, feeling better and there won’t be as much educational time lost,” said Gretchen Carlton, clinic coordinator.
Which is something students like Maxfield, reluctantly appreciate.
“Of course, being a kid, I’m like, you know, anything to get outta class,” said Maxfield. “But it’ll get our attendance better for our whole school, so I guess, you know, it’s OK.”
At this time the clinic is open only to students, faculty and staff. Officials say they have plans to open the clinic’s care to the greater community in the future and expand to offer additional service lines.