Medical clinic to provide free services to students

Kaitlyn Jiang, news assistant editor

The Glenbrook School Health Center, a medical clinic that will provide free, professional medical services to the Glenbrook community, will open at South on Oct. 5, Dr. R.J. Gravel, District 225 Associate Superintendent, said. 

The main goal of the center is to decrease the amount of time and money students and staff spend on basic medical issues outside of school, Gravel said. Providing physicals, immunizations, mental health aid, simple clinical tests such as Covid-19 and blood tests, and care for minor injuries are services that the center will offer, according to the District 225 website. 

“If we can provide testing services sooner, and provide access, whether it’s [for] a physical exam or maybe a minor medication, we’ll be able to stop the spread of [things such as Covid-19, the common cold, and the flu],” Gravel said.

Gravel explained that there will be no charge for anything provided in the clinic. Their largest goal was to make every service financially accessible, he added.

This new clinic will cost $565,921 to build, and is funded by a grant from Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and district-received funds for Covid-19 mitigation reimbursements, the District 225 website explained.

Additionally, the health center will be located across from the Nurse’s Office and collaborate with nurses. South Nurses will provide initial consultations and help identify symptoms, Gravel added. If needed, nurses will then transfer the student to the health center, staffed by three full-time Advocate Aurora Healthcare personnel: a nurse practitioner, a social worker, and a nursing assistant who will also work as a registrar, Gravel explained.

“[In the health center], we’ll have a licensed social worker and a licensed nurse practitioner who can fill the roles of some primary care as a doctor could,” Gravel said. “The nurse’s office [will make] referrals to this health center after they’ve had initial triage provided.”

Although the clinic will be opened on October 5, it will first be made accessible to students on Oct. 15, Gravel explained. A shuttle bus provided by the district will run from Glenbrook North to South during the school day so that all students will be able to access the center’s services. In the future, the goal for the health center will be to serve staff as well, he added.

The health center is also incredibly simple and convenient, Principal Dr. Barbara Georges said.

“With your parents’ permission, you [will] be able to go right into the health clinic and they’d be able to give you a quick look-over, saving the process [of a doctor’s appointment] to get back to learning faster,” Georges said.

Georges expressed feelings of gratitude for the new center and the resources it will provide to the Glenbrook community.

“There are not a lot of schools that have the luxury [of having a health center],” Georges said. “I’m incredibly proud of what we are doing this year and I think it’s going to have a very positive impact on keeping our school population healthy.”