New Health Clinic coming to Howard Connect Academy
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – The new health clinic will be housed at the Howard Connect Academy, but will provide care to other Hamilton County School students, staff, and even family members.
“It is absolutely a win-win for the community but most of all for the kids,” says Marisa Moyers, Manager of School Health.
Hamilton County Schools received federal funding for the clinic in June of this year. The goal was to address county wide health disparities that are reflected in student populations.
“Hopefully it will help families. Moms, or dads won’t have to leave work and come pick their children up to go get healthcare.They will be able to do it right on site with parent approval and involvement. We can get those wellness checks and get those things that are sometimes standup barriers but can now get right here,” says Mardee Miller, Principal of Howard Connect.
The Hamilton County Picture of Health Report from 2019 revealed that black communities are more likely than white communities to get sick from conditions such as kidney disease, heart disease, and diabetes.
“Many of the students don’t even have a medical home. What does that mean? It means they don’t even go to the doctor for their routine exams. The only place they go is when they get so sick that they have to go to the local emergency room. We will have the capabilities to do simple lab tests – strep, flu, covid. We can address some of the biggest needs like hypertension,” says Moyers.
The hope of school officials is that this clinic will cut down on absences.
“School based health clinics have the potential to reduce absenteeism by 50% when the community is engaged and participating in the services and programs that are available to them.” says Layara Navarro-Flores, Community Health Manager.
Officials and students believe that this new clinic will be an incredible asset for the schools — and the community.