LITTLE ROCK, AR. (Oct. 9, 2017) – Children at three local schools will have more opportunities for wellness where they live, learn and play with the opening of the Stephens Elementary School-Based Health Center in the Little Rock School District today.

The center is a collaborative effort, with Arkansas Children’s as its medical partner providing primary care to students at Stephens Elementary, as well as their siblings. Students who participate in the Children’s International program at Bale and Wakefield Elementary Schools in the LRSD will also have access to the center’s care.

The center provides mental health services to students on site, as well, offered through arrangements with Preferred Family Healthcare, New Beginnings Behavioral Health Services and The Pointe Outpatient Behavioral Health Services.

About 20 patients a week are expected to receive care close to home at the Stephens Elementary School-Based Health Center, where LRSD educates 600 students each day.The Stephens School-Based Health Clinic provides the primary care that students need without a trip across town that pulls parents or guardians away from work. The center’s goal is to enhance the patient centered medical home model, encouraging regular checkups at each child’s primary care physician.

“By having an Arkansas Children’s advanced practice nurse on site, we can offer kids the medical services they need quickly, while also serving as that missing connection to a medical home,” said Arkansas Children’s President & CEO Marcy Doderer, FACHE. “This truly embodies our goal of delivering care where children live, learn and play. There’s no question that children will be better today and healthier tomorrow because of these strong partnerships!”

The center is relocating from its first home at Franklin Elementary, which closed this school year. A five-year grant from the Arkansas Department of Education funded preparation for the clinic and early offerings. Today, Arkansas Children’s also provides important funding and support for the health clinic.

The clinic began seeing patients at the start of the school year and opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house for students’ families today.