By Ernie Over, managing editor, county10.com
(Riverton, Wyo.) – The Wind River Schools at Pavillion will have Wyoming’s first School Based Health Clinic following action by the Riverton School Board Tuesday night. According to Fremont County Board of Cooperative Education Services Executive Director Sandy Barton, one of the last pieces to put in place for the clinic was a building to house it in. After Fremont County turned down a modular building offered by School District #25, the structure was given to FC BOCES. The modular building is currently located on the campus of the Rendezvous School and was part of series of modular classrooms when the Riverton Middle School was housed there. The structure is the last remaining modular at the site.
“Wyoming does not have school based clinics,” Barton told the District 25 trustees. “There’s one under consideration in Gillette, but this would be the first. Wind River is isolated from health care and response time is high and this clinic would improve health care needs of students there.”
Fremont County rejected the offered building due to a projected cost of $37,000 to move and set up the structure for a juvenile day reporting center. Barton, however, said she had obtained costs back in August to relocate the structure to Pavillion, “and it’s no where near $37,000,” she said. Barton said the difference is that at the Wind River School, all the utilities are in place and set up there would be relatively easy.
Barton said FC BOCES is working with consultants from the state of Colorado where school based clinics have been in place for years. Barton showed a three minute-long video that explained how a school-based clinic is integrated into an educational facility. According to the presentation, the clinic is available to all students. The presentation said the clinic helps students think about their studies, rather than an illness. Care is provided with parental permission and staffed with medical professionals. The focus of the clinic is on preventive health. The Colorado Health Foundation video said the clinics are an effective way to deliver health care to teens, integrating health and education in one setting.
Barton said FC BOCES has received a foundation grant and that they have applied for a Federal grant to fund the operation of the clinic.
In response to a question, Barton said there would be no cost to receive services at the clinic to a student or a family. “No one would be turned away, it’s a great model,” she said. “We are working with consultants from Colorado to help us put this together.”
Barton said FCSD#6 at Pavillion does has a design for a fully functional center that would be constructed and connected to the new elementary school there. “In the interim, this modular would allow us to get started as soon as possible.”
She also said when the weather allows, the modular will be moved to Pavillion. “We’re anxious to get it out there and set up,” she said.