School Based Clinic Coming to RLAS District 116

Superintendent Constance Collins “Thrilled” about SBC grant

Constance Collins, Round Lake District 116 Superintendent
Constance Collins, Round Lake District 116 Superintendent

Although parents were repeatedly told at a previous special meeting that “no tax dollars” would be used to build a school based clinic (SBC) planned for Round Lake Area Consolidated School District 116, the recently announced $500,000 Federal grant IS taxpayer money. Reporter Bob Susnjara reported in the Daily Herald that Superintendent Collins was “thrilled” upon learning of the grant.

What is a School-Based-Clinic (SBC)

Many try to sugar-coat the term “school-based-clinic” by referring to them as being “school-based-health-centers”, thus removing the word “clinic” since they have a reputation of passing out contraceptives and referring pregnant teen-agers to abortion clinics. By law, an SBC must provide certain services such as primary health and dental care, physicals, immunizations, cancer screening, injury diagnosis, behavioral care, and reproductive health services. According to school board President, Nanci Radford, the school can specify whether or not contraceptives can be distributed at the clinic. However, it’s really a moot point whether they can or not since all the clinic has to do is refer the student to a doctor outside the clinic who can prescribe them. This also goes for the morning after pill. 

Contraceptives can be issued without parental knowledge
Contraceptives can be issued without parental knowledge

Will parents be advised of SBC office visits

What a lot of parents do not know is that Illinois law now allows a doctor to prescribe medication to teenagers without their parents consent. Let’s admit it, the main reason young people aren’t walking into doctor’s offices and asking for prescriptions is because the first thing they will be asked for is their insurance information to cover the cost of the doctor visit, etc. The SBC gets around this by requiring a parent to sign a form allowing the student to visit the on-site SBC, along with providing doctor information and insurance policy information. If the student prefers that their parent not know about the type of medication or procedure that is to be prescribed or performed, Illinois law requires that neither the doctor nor the insurance company divulge it to the parent. Thus the SBC and the insurer become partners in keeping parents out of the loop when it comes to their child’s health care.

For those of you who did not attend the school board meeting where guest speaker (representing Nicasa), Brenda Bannor, repeatedly told the audience that “parents would not be notified“, consider her answer as you read what is being offered at other SBC facilities around the country. Parents and guardians who have some hesitations about drugs and procedures being prescribed or performed on their children without their knowledge should plan on attending future meetings as mentioned in the last paragraph.

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The current plan is to build a free-standing structure in the rear parking lot, unattached to the school building itself. This must take place before December of 2014 in order to receive the grant money. Then the bidding would go out to local area health providers such as Advocate Condell, Vista Health Systems, etc. to see who is willing to staff the facility and how much they will offer the school. Typical of any business venture, the shareholders of these health providers must recognize a potential profit before agreeing to staff an SBC. If there is a lot of public resistance that would indicate boycotting such a facility, the investors may decide to take a pass. In other areas where SBC’s were failing to generate enough income, they started offering health care services to the students parents and family members.

To learn more about what is being planned and to answer your questions, there are TWO meetings being scheduled at the Round Lake Beach Cultural & Civic Center from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. The first is on January 15th and the second one is on January 17th.

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