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Early County Schools opens school-based clinic

Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 11:26 PM CST
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BLAKELY, Ga. (WTVY) - When most people think of healthcare in school, they only think of a traditional school nurse.

Early County Schools is changing their approach with a school-based health center at Early County Elementary School.

“We do have a school-based nurse, but she cannot prescribe medicine,” says Dr. Matthew Cullifer, principal, Early County Elementary School. “This clinic that we have now is full service. In fact, my personal child who goes to this school system was a customer this morning.”

The idea started two years ago from Primary Care of Southwest Georgia, who has a school-based clinic in Thomasville, Ga. Dr. Cullifer says he sees the clinic as a big opportunity to keep children learning more rather than missing class.

“The quicker they can get seen and get the medicine they need to be back in school, that’s what we need,” Dr. Cullifer. “We need our kids here and anything that this clinic can do, or we can do to make that happen is what we’re in favor of.”

Dr. Cullifer says he sees nothing but a positive future for the clinic which has already seen it’s first patient.

“In fact, one of their very first customers was one of our teachers,” says Dr. Cullifer. “She came in not feeling well and they said well we’re open. So, she was able to go over there before her duties began at 8 o’clock and was treated, and she was able to go back to the classroom.”

For now, the clinic is providing a small group of services only available to students, faculty, and staff in Early County Schools. Starting in January, the clinic will begin vaccinations, health physicals, and more.

The clinic accepts private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare and other insurance companies. The clinic also has slide-scale billing for low income families.

Copyright 2021 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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