La Porte Community Schools recently –opened the Slicer Health Clinic located within La Porte High School. The Slicer Clinic was made possible by La Porte Hospital and La Porte Physician Network alongside a generous grant from the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte. The projects is the fruition of a community working together to improve health of youth and families of the region, and committing to serve every student in need.
“A lot of research was put into this project by a steering committee that included local physicians, school administration staff, nurses, teachers, students, parents, La Porte Physician Network staff, and representatives from the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte. We were able to present a solid case for the potential benefits of a student-based health clinic, and look forward to being able to offer a service that can improve the health of our students, improve attendance numbers and engagement in school activities, and provide a health support network for students and parents during the school day. I am excited to see the project unfold,” said Mark Fancesconi, Superintendent of Schools for La Porte Community School Corporation.
The clinic offers services beyond what the typical nurse station could offer.
Services provided at the clinic include diagnosis and treatment of illness and injuries; physical exams and sports physicals; immunizations and some lab tests; management of chronic health conditions; prescription and over-the-counter medications; promotion of healthy life choices; and referrals for specialty care, including behavioral health and dental care.
“One of our goals is to reduce absenteeism for students. Making sure they have access to care, vaccines, and a place to go to get care on an as-needed basis,” said Ashley Dickinson, CEO at LaPorte Hospital.
“We talked with the school and it was aligned; they thought this was a good plan for the school. The Healthcare Foundation of La Porte was happy to support it, which was the key piece,” Dickinson said. “From our La Porte Physician Network, we have an MA [medical assistant] and a Nurse Practitioner here.”
The clinic is focused on getting students answers, started on treatment, and back to school as quickly as possible. The clinic can do rapid testing for strep or influenza, and treat injuries with suture or staple, or splinting a fracture before referring to the ER for care.
“We see students from the elementary and middle schools as well for all services. Whatever you could go to a regular doctor's office for, you can get here,” Elisa Bergquist, Nurse Practitioner at the Slicer Health Clinic, said. Bergquist stressed the clinic is an extension of the primary care provider’s office, so treatment provided is documented with the student’s pediatrician or family doctor so they can continue their care.
“We spoke often about having clinics in the schools and giving children immediate, direct access for any situation they are in. We are hoping this brings incredible change to our students and healthy children,” said Maria Fruth, CEO at the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte.
“Healthy children, healthy minds, and healthy bodies are the top three priorities of Healthcare Foundation of La Porte,” Fruth added.
Parents or guardians must complete and sign a permission form for enroll each child under age 18 in the clinic. Students ages 18 or older can sign permission forms for themselves. Completed forms should be submitted to the child’s school, upon which the child then will be eligible to receive services at the Slicer Health Clinic for the La Porte Community School District 2018-19 school year. Insurance will be billed, and if patients are uninsured, assistance will be provided to enroll the student in the appropriate government insurance program.
Medical consent packets can be found on the La Porte Community School Corporation website under Parent Portal, Forms, then Documents: http://www.lpcsc.k12.in.us/parents/forms.asp.
La Porte, IN 46350
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