‘Innovative’ health clinic in Midland high school serves students and public

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Simcoe.com – News
Oct. 22, 2019.   
Gisele Winton Sarvis Midland Mirror

The partnership between the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) and Georgian Bay District Secondary School was celebrated at the health clinic’s official opening Oct. 15 within the school.

The health unit/Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) partnership started in Midland in 2010 and is now a model of collaboration in the province.

“As a board, we are extremely proud of this partnership with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and we are often called upon to explain this partnership to other boards in the province,” said board chair Jodi Lloyd.

Anita Dubeau, chair of the SMDHU board of health, said the school board and health unit came together when the health unit needed a new home and the former Midland Secondary School had declining enrolment.

“The idea arose to house the health unit in a vacant wing of the school. It was an innovative idea at the time and it took some negotiation, but there was eagerness to keep the school viable and determination to make a new partnership happen,” said Dubeau.

The location had many benefits, including bringing health services close to students, sitting on a transit route and being close to a neighbourhood.

When funding was announced for the new high school (adjacent to the old school), the school board “immediately” sought a co-build agreement for space for the health unit, said Lloyd.

“It clearly illustrates what we can accomplish when we work collaboratively together for the benefit of our community. This collaboration provides service benefits to our students, our staff and the greater community we both serve, while realizing financial savings,” Lloyd said.

Rebecca Dupuis, program manager with the SMDHU, said while the clinic is attached to the school and can be used by students, the mandate is for the general public.

Ten programs run from the clinic, including prenatal, immunizations, water sampling, sexual health, needle exchange, naloxone training, and substance abuse and prevention.

The space includes a reception area, a breastfeeding-friendly location, two clinic rooms, a fridge room to store vaccines and a boardroom that is also used for clinics.

https://www.simcoe.com/news-story/9651681–innovative-health-clinic-in-midland-high-school-serves-students-and-public/

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