SIDNEY – Sidney City Schools and Wilson Health are leading a pioneering effort to open a health clinic that will serve students, school staff and the community as a whole.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Wednesday afternoon for the new Wilson Health Clinic at Sidney City Schools. The clinic officially opened March 2 at the school district’s Board of Education Office and already has been utilized by students, staff and community members.
Dr. Michael Beyer, the clinic’s physician, said he hasn’t seen many clinics on school properties and is excited to open one of the first. Dayton Public Schools opened a clinic in February.
“We didn’t have a lot of models to work from,” Beyer said. “It’s not like there’s 20 other clinics in the state that we can emulate. So we’re sort of pioneering things here.”
The idea for the clinic on school property came from Sidney City Schools Superintendent Bob Humble. During his previous job as superintendent at Fairbanks Local Schools, Humble advocated for opening a clinic but was unable to do so.
In January or February of 2019, after coming to Sidney, Humble mentioned his vision to Shelby County United Way Executive Director Scott Barr. They then worked with Marian Spicer from the Community Foundation of Shelby County and others to make it a reality.
“This is something that’s been kind of a dream of mine for a couple years,” Humble said. “The seeds got planted, and all of a sudden it grew.”
Humble wanted to have a clinic on school property so students and staff would have convenient access to a doctor. The superintendent thinks having that access will lead to students missing less class time.
“I want to have something that’s on site to where when we have sick kids or sick staff that there’s someplace for them to go that they can been seen fairly quickly,” he said. “You can’t learn if you’re not here. We wanted to take that barrier away as much as possible.”
Wilson Health President and CEO Mark Klosterman said Wilson wants to collaborate with community organizations and corporations throughout Shelby County. He views the clinic at the school as part of the collaboration and innovation it strives for as an organization.
“It’s about providing the care outside the the walls of Wilson,” Klosterman said. “How do we create access to folks?”
In addition to providing preferred access to Sidney City Schools students, staff and their families, the clinic also offers primary care services for the entire community. A full range of health care services are available at the clinic. Additionally, nurses will remain in schools.
“I think this is a huge asset for our community to have something like this,” Humble said.
The Shelby County United Way provided $10,000 to help open the clinic, and Sidney City Schools also received a $7,500 grant from the Monarch Machine Company Legacy Fund. Wilson Health paid for the balance of the cost to open the clinic.
“Wilson Health has been tremendous in getting this going and just a huge catalyst,” said Humble, who said the school district’s only financial responsibilities will be electricity and water bills.
The clinic is located in the basement of the school district’s Board of Education Office, 750 S. Fourth St. The space, which previously was used for storage, includes four examination rooms and is decorated with art from students.
“We’re extremely excited of the fact that we have an opportunity to have something that can help kids stay in school or at least get back to school sooner,” Humble said. “It’s going to be a great thing for our kids, a great thing for their families and a great thing for our staff as well.”
Shelby County Commissioner Bob Guillozet commended Sidney City Schools and Wilson Health for their collaborative efforts and said the clinic is a great example of what makes the county so special.
“It’s an overwhelming good feeling to be able to go out across the rest of the state and tell people we see this kind of cooperation all the time here in Shelby County,” he said. “And as I talk to other commissioners in other counties across the state, there’s a lot of them that do not see that at all. We are really blessed here in Shelby County.”
Regular clinic hours will be 6 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday, noon-8 p.m. Wednesday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday.
Sidney City Schools walk-in hours are 6-8 a.m. Monday, 3-6 p.m. Tuesday, 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, 3-5 p.m. Thursday and 3-5 p.m. Friday.
To schedule an appointment, call 937-419-8020.
Reach this writer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-538-4824.