JESSIEVILLE, Ark – A new addition to the Jessieville School District allows students to go from the classroom to the doctor’s office in minutes.
The district opened the doors of its health and wellness center about a month ago, serving students and staff like a doctor’s office would.
“You can be seen for fever, ear infections, cuts, scrapes, bumps and bruises,” Jessieville School Health Center coordinator Alyssa Pierce said.
Inside the center are rooms for students and teachers. A nurse practitioner from CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs is also in the building to conduct appointments or exams.
Pierce is the head of the center and a mother of two. She says this center was designed in part for parents like her.
“We kind of live in a rural area,” Pierce said.
Pierce says that when she takes her kids to the doctor, it takes her about an hour to get there and back and that doesn’t include the visit itself.
“The kids miss at least half a day of school and most of the time they don’t come back,” Jessieville superintendent Melissa Spears said.
The new center is cutting that time down to minutes in the hope that students can get checked out and return to class.
The same goes for teachers who can now visit the “doctor” during their lunch break instead of having to find a replacement to cover their class for a day.
Superintendent Spears says that in addition to exams, the nurse practitioner may also perform return-to-play physical exams. This is for student athletes who have recovered from covid-19. In the past it could take days to get a doctor’s appointment to be allowed to play, now the district says it’s about walking down the hall.
In the coming months, the district says it wants to open the center to the community, so that they can get closer to care.
Pierce says the center was funded using a grant requested by the school.
All insurances go through the CHI St. Vincent.