FAIRMOUNT, Ind. – There’s a local school corporation that’s making health care access a priority. They’ve gone so far as to transform their former administration building into a health center.
It’s not only for students and staff, but the entire community is also welcome to make an appointment.
Located in the center of a cornfield right off State Road 9, you’ll find Madison-Grant United School Corporation.
“We face the challenges of being small and rural. We’re in the middle of everything but close to very little,” said Superintendent Scott Deetz.
When Dr. Deetz became superintendent, he noticed right away that there was a lack of health care access in his school community.
“There was just one medical practice in our 174 square mile school district,” said Deetz.
An issue that he wanted to fix because access is one of the main barriers to health care. And during a pandemic, that need became stronger.
“The reason to have these services at our fingertips within our community became stronger,” he added.
Renovations at the junior-senior high school made room for some changes. Business moved out of the administration building and a health center moved in.
Madison-Grant partnered with Aspire Indiana to open the clinic on its campus. The nonprofit provider is staffed with trained medical and behavioral professionals.
“We serve all ages, so anything you’d go to your primary care for. From coughs to colds, to chronic health care issues,” said Jerry Landers, the vice president of strategy and business development for Aspire Indiana.
That includes COVID-19 tests and screenings. If the school nurse determines that a student needs care during school hours, as long as they have parent permission, kids are able to go over to the clinic.
“They have a direct line to contact our office if there’s a need or have a student in their office, so they can communicate to us or ask questions to our nurse practitioner and we can get them in,” said Leigh Hoover, the facility operations manager for Madison-Grant Health Center.
With just over 1,000 students, Superintendent Deetz believes the healthier students are the more ready they are to learn.
“The healthier the family, the healthier the students are and the more ready they are to learn each and every school day,” said Deetz, “You decrease the number of absences and you decrease the level of stress for families whose students are homesick. They have to stay home too, and in our community if you’re not at work – you’re not getting paid.”
Like most small towns in Indiana, the school brings the community together and with this new health center, the hope is to do just that.
“It tears down that barrier of trying to get kiddos and families to regular, preventative health care,” said Deetz.
“The number one barrier to health care is access, transportation and logistics, the doctor’s office closes at 5 – how do I get my kids? I have to get off work and take them to the doctor. By locating it here on the school campus and in partnership with the school, in this rural area – this has become the hub of this community,” Landers added.
The Madison-Grant Health Center is just getting started and they want people to know, they take walk-ins and appointments.
To learn more, click here.