El Campo school trustees approved forming a committee to study the benefits of a possible El Campo High School health clinic last session.

The board was approached by a local hospital about it entering into a contract with the district to provide services at a school-based health center for students and staff. Superintendent Kelly Waters would not name the hospital saying “that could bias our committee recommendation.”

Chapter 38 of the Texas Education Code requires community input and a recommendation from an advisory council before a district can provide health care programs to students and their families.

After Waters discussed the repercussions or additional financial responsibilities the district might incur with the district’s lawyer, who did not foresee any issues, she discovered school-based health centers are becoming more common.

“Many districts have success in operating health centers in coordination and partnership with local hospitals resulting in increased and easier access to health care for employees and students as well as a decrease in student and staff absences,” she said.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, school-based health centers offer immunizations, well-child exams, sports physicals, acute care for minor illness and injury, chronic illness management, dental screenings, treatment and referral, mental health services and basic health education.

The advisory group will consist of a teacher, a school administrator, a licensed health care professional, a member of the clergy, a law enforcement officer, a member of the business community, a senior citizen and a student.

Trustee James Russell asked Waters for her opinion as to whether a school-based clinic was worth it, to which she replied, “Yes,” having come from a district that opened one.

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