Full Court Press to Approve Round Lake School Based Clinic

Brenda Bannor, Steering Committee Member of the Illinois Coalition for School-Based Health Centers
Brenda Bannor, Steering Committee Member of the Illinois Coalition for School-Based Health Centers
With the failure on the part of the Health Care Foundation of Northern Lake County to install a school-based clinic in the Waukegan High School there will be a full court press to ram one into the Round Lake High School. This was quite evident by the Feb, 28, 2011 meeting notes where it was stated:

Finally, HFNLC staff also plans to convene our grantees for a meeting to exchange ideas, share successful strategies and engage in collective problem solving. If the efforts to establish a school-based health center proceed positively in Round Lake, the leadership involved in those efforts might have a number of suggestions for their colleagues in Waukegan hoping to revive past efforts to create a school-based health center in Waukegan. Likewise, some of the Cook County grantees might discover new partnership potential among the Lake County healthcare providers.

These types of school-based health care centers (formerly called ‘clinics‘ until they elected to revise the perception of ‘sex clinics’) requires that the community, family, and student “buy in” or have willingness to participate in the services.

In March 11. 2008 the Waukegan School Board approved a motion for AUTHORIZATION TO ENTER INTO CONTRACT TO ESTABLISH A BUSINESS PLAN FOR A SCHOOL BASED HEALTH CENTER. Lengthy debate ensued which included: population to be served, types of services to be offered, possible duplication of other community services, community needs, funding, staffing, location, and health concerns which influence academic achievement. Also a need for assurance that revenue collected for District #60 programs would not be used to support this effort, education on preventive health concerns, reluctance of adolescents to seek health information, examples of health concerns currently found in the student population, and need to focus on the educational mission of the District.

In April of 2008, when the HCFNLC was making their Presentation on the Proposed School Based Health Center pitch to Waukegan, several concerns were raised:

Mrs. Mayfield-Jedkins raised a number of concerns including: parental involvement and responsibility; privacy issues; statistics on District health matters such as obesity, pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease; laboratory services; State and federal guidelines; capital and ongoing cost to the District; and need for a District-wide Needs Assessment survey.

Ms. Hanna questioned the advisability of undertaking another major program at a time when the District is addressing high school reorganization and the neighborhood schools implementation. She stated her belief that District resources would be overextended if another major program is undertaken at this time and expressed concern about administrative oversight.

Mrs. Maguire recalled an unfortunate experience which her daughter had at a school

With the failure in Waukegan to secure enough interest, the effort has now turned to Round Lake.

At a recent Lake County Health Department meeting a motion was approved to move forward after a Power Point presentation was made regarding a feasibility study for the implementation of a school based health care center in Round Lake. Items to be completed were: needs assessment, identifying a site, identifying a health care provider, identifying a SBC model, creating a sustainability plan, and identifying barriers and ways to overcome obstacles.

Member Bob Tarter reminded the governing council that there was a feasibility study done last year by the board members of the Waukegan school board with the same intent to create a school based health center which fell through because the need was not expressed from the grassroots of the community. Tarter also wanted to know if there is information that talked about the ‘buy-in’ from the community.

Member Angelo Kyle noted that Dr. Constance Collins was behind the idea 100%. Angelo asked what the LCHD/CHC was doing to ensure they will avoid the obstacles that happened in Waukegan and to make sure that this project will be successfull.

Angelo asked Irene Pierce, Executive Director Lake County Health department, if she was in support. Pierce stated that she is in support as long as they are assured that there will be no tax dollars involved.

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Jeanne Ang, Director Primary Care Services, stated that there is capital funding available and they hope in the future there will be operational funding coming in.

Parents will not have access to what their children are being treated for
Parents will not have access to what their children are being treated for

Read more HERE about how school-based health clinics leave the parents out of the loop once they have a signed ‘blanket’ consent form in their files. Almost all school-based clinics require that parents sign a consent form. In most cases, consent covers all services available through the clinic. In some clinics, the consent form advises parents that state laws prohibit clinic staff from informing parents of particular treatments, but in a few other sites, the consent form allows parents to prohibit certain treatment.

There will be a tremendous amount of pressure to get this ‘clinic’ installed in the Round Lake High School so that they can go back and try once again to incorporate it into the Waukegan schools. Two failures would not look good on the resumes of those pressing this issue forward.

If you are NOT ready to turn your child’s health care decisions over to someone else without knowledge of what is being prescribed or medical procedures being performed join the Public Forum HERE and let your feelings be known.

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