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New Kid Clinic to Continue Successful Partnership

New Kid Clinic to Continue Successful Partnership

Campbell County Health and Campbell County School District began working together in 2008 to provide mental health services to students within their schools. Both groups came to realize there were even more potential benefits to students, and began looking for a way to add medical care to the mix and create a school-based health clinic. The Kid Clinic opened in 2014 with the help of grants from the John P. Ellbogen Foundation and HRSA (US Health Resources and Services Administration), providing $500,000 for construction and the same amount for staff salaries for three years.

This unique partnership provided primary medical care and counseling services to students in a former elementary school building. Staff included a pediatrician and licensed professional counselors. A Case Manager helped families find community resources, medication assistance, enroll in Medicaid and CHIP programs, and counseling services were provided on a sliding fee scale.

Fast-forward to today

The Kid Clinic now provides primary medical care for infants over two weeks old up to age 21, and counseling for children ages 4-21. Transportation from the child’s school to the Kid Clinic was added about four years ago. Primarily used for counseling appointments, it ensures that students are getting the services they need, even if parents are unable to take them.

Nurse Practitioner Holly Hink describes the working relationship she has with her counseling colleagues.

“We can get a well-rounded picture of the whole child and their family,” said Holly. “I can refer a child for counseling, and discuss a situation, offer insight and ask for input, all in the same location, almost in real time. And the counselors can ask a medical question that may impact how they are working with that child.”

Hink, who has been a pediatric nurse practitioner for 16 years, and at the Kid Clinic for two years, also fields calls from teachers, counselors and principals, the people who see and interact with kids every day.

“Other communities have approached the school district and asked how we did this,” said Holly. “This is how school-based healthcare is supposed to work—everyone working together to benefit the child.”

If the Kid Clinic is working well, why change?

The Hillcrest School Building, home of the Kid Clinic, was built in the late 1970’s, and is just not functional anymore. District officials have a list of things that have worn out over time, such as the roof, and the heating and cooling system. CCH and CCSD began planning to replace the Kid Clinic with a new building over two years ago.

The must-haves: it needed to be on school district-owned property, close by a school and centrally located if possible. The chosen location is next to Twin Spruce Junior High, on Seventh Street and Kendrick Avenue. The nearly 4,000 square foot clinic will have five exam rooms plus a triage room, and five counseling offices.

A rendering of the new Kid Clinic building, to be located on 7th Street and Kendrick Avenue, set to open May 2021.
 

CCH and CCSD are splitting the costs of the $1.4 million project, expected to break ground in August. Community donors have also come forward to help make the new clinic a reality, like CAMPCO Federal Credit Union and the Campbell County Healthcare Foundation.

“We know it may not be the best time to spend money on new construction,” said Colleen Heeter, CEO. “But the current building won’t last another summer, and we worked hard to make the design as efficient and cost-effective as possible. There will be a celebration next spring, when we can open our doors.”

Construction is expected to take about nine months, and be ready to see children in May 2021.

Learn more about the Kid Clinic at www.cchwyo.org/kidclinic.