U.S. Representative Steve Womack toured Siloam Springs Middle School and toured the Panther Wellness Clinic on Thursday.
Womack, who is on district work, was invited to visit the clinic by Dr. Gary Berner, the community clinic’s chief medical officer.
The congressman said he goes around during the shift and visits important things for his job as a member of the House Committee on Appropriations and as a ranking member of the services subcommittee finance and general government.
Tiffany Hansen, the coordinator of the Panther Health and Wellness Clinic and Bright Futures, showed the clinic to Womack and explained the services offered by the clinic with Evelene Bible, the community clinic’s advanced practice registered nurse who provides medical care for students.
Visiting the clinic, Womack also saw the work done at Bright Futures, which provides resources to meet the basic needs of students. Hansen explained how it is easier for students to succeed in school when their needs are met.
“There is no doubt in the current environment that health care remains an extremely important part of it,” Womack said. “How this relates to student health and progress is very important. These are tough times right now.”
Assistant Superintendent Amy Carter said Womack learned a lot about what the clinic and Bright Futures had to offer.
“I think it might help the clinic,” Carter said. “It might even offer the possibility of getting more grants, even in other places in Arkansas, to be able to receive them.”
Berner said they were very pleased to host Womack to highlight the clinic’s unique relationship between the clinic and the Siloam Springs School District.
“After Congressman Womack’s visit, I certainly feel there has been increased recognition of the depth of our services,” Berner said. “We share the same goal, working diligently to improve and positively affect life in the NWA.”
After his visit to the clinic and Bright Futures, Womack visited a few classes where he interacted with students and answered questions.
“I’m very impressed with what we have here and it’s good to see it with my own eyes,” Womack said.