Clinic facilities

All Care Health Center will operate a mobile clinic in Thomas Jefferson

It may soon be easier for students at Council Bluffs to get medical attention.

The Council Bluffs Community School District School Board on Tuesday approved an agreement for All Care Health Center to operate a mobile health clinic at Thomas Jefferson High School. There will be no charge to the school district to have the clinic there.

The clinic will be open to all students in the district but will be based in Thomas Jefferson due to its central location, large population and adequate parking, according to Tim Hamilton, manager of student and family services.

“It’s really our hope that if this works we can expand this to other schools,” he said.

The clinic is housed in a 40-foot Freightliner that contains two exam rooms, a lab draw area and a reception area, according to Kerri Wede, director of development and marketing at All Care. It will be staffed with a health care provider, a medical assistant and a patient access representative. In addition, All Care has interpreters who can be called upon if necessary for certain appointments.

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“We know the needs in the community are great and we are trying to break down all barriers to health care,” she said. “With so many blue-collar jobs, it’s hard for parents to take the time to take their kids to the doctor.”

As a federally licensed health center, All Care can accept insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare; base fees on a sliding fee schedule or accept patients regardless of their ability to pay, according to a memorandum of understanding between the health center and the school district.

“If a student goes to the clinic, they can be served,” Hamilton said.

The mobile unit will be open Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the high school, Hamilton said. The clinic will provide mental health services on Tuesdays and primary health care services Wednesday through Friday. School officials hope the mobile clinic will be ready to open on Nov. 29.

Students will need to have an appointment and consent from a parent or relative, he said. However, school health staff will also be able to refer students to the clinic and schedule appointments.

“The clinic would be there to help those of them who had immediate needs,” Hamilton said.

Wede said All Care raised almost enough money to cover the mobile unit’s first year of operation.

“It’s really great to see that we’re getting so much support from our partners in the community,” she said.

All Care and the school district began discussions about having the mobile clinic at a school part-time in the spring of 2021, Wede said. All Care leaders spoke to district health associates and listened to the needs of the school community. They knew there were unmet needs in the area.

Still, how often students use the clinic remains to be seen, Hamilton told the board.

“We will definitely follow it, and I will provide you with this information,” he said.