A formal site visit by a team from the Arkansas Department of Education is set for April 23 at noon to determine the feasibility and community support for a school-based health clinic proposed for the Hope High School campus through an ADE grant program.

A formal site visit by a team from the Arkansas Department of Education is set for April 23 at noon to determine the feasibility and community support for a school-based health clinic proposed for the Hope High School campus through an ADE grant program.
“The upcoming site visit will consist of a round table discussion between the State SBHC Team and all local, district, partnering organizations, and community stakeholders,” ADE Grants Manager Brittany Rogers said in an April 9 letter to Hope Superintendent Bobby Hart. “The purpose of the site visit is to allow the state team to: have direct communication with the local stakeholders to gain insight for the need and support of the proposed center; gain clarification in areas of the application that is unclear; see the proposed space designated for the clinic; and to suggest any recommendation for changes in the proposal.”
Hart said Tuesday that the site visit to the HHS campus is the result of a collaborative effort.
“We are very proud and excited about the possibility of starting a school-based clinic,” he said. “Thanks to our great team for getting us to this point. I’m confident that we can run an efficient and effective system and help families and students to lead healthy lives.”
The district is currently seeking a $500,000 grant from the state through the ADE that will open and establish operations for the proposed clinic for its first five years of service. Funding for such clinics across the state has been created through a $2 million annual set-aside of tobacco excise tax monies collected by the state.
There are currently 28 such clinics already operating, most of which are in the northwest quarter of the state. Six currently operate in schools in El Dorado, Smackover-Norphlet, Gurdon, Malvern, Camden, and Mena in southwest Arkansas.
The proposed Hope clinic is to be housed in the former home and family sciences “cottage” on the HHS campus. The proposed clinic will offer both physical and mental health services, based upon grant guidelines, under a school/community/family partnership approach.
Renovations to the “cottage” will be undertaken with the first $150,000 of the proposed grant; while, much of the furnishings and equipment needed for initial operations has already been donated by Wadley Regional Medical Center-Hope.
Proposed clinic staffing includes a nurse-practitioner on site, and medical services overseen by a community physician partner and the office of HPS District Nurse Renee Sells, RN. Normal services for students and staff are to be free of charge, with any billable and fee-related services handled directly by the physician partner.
Plans, pending state approval, call for beginning operations at HHS in the Spring, 2019, semester, with services eventually provided districtwide.