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Group to study need for clinics

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

COVINGTON -- Newton County Community Partnership has received a $15,000 grant to determine the need for a school-based health care clinic.

The grant was awarded through Emory University's Urban Health Program and will pay for a survey and analysis on where a school health clinic is most needed.

"We see a lot of families struggling to provide health services for children," said Laura Bertram, executive director of Newton County Community Partnership. "We're trying to determine what area has the most needs, where the greatest gap is. We will be sending volunteers to neighborhoods all over the county on Feb. 26 and 27."

The volunteers will conduct a community health survey to get public opinion on various health issues. Hands On Newton is coordinating the event along with Oxford College. The survey takes about three minutes to complete.

Bertram said medical issues can sometimes lead to behavioral problems, truancy and poor academic performance. A school clinic that provides treatment for conditions such as asthma and viruses could help reduce those issues, she said.

Typically, such clinics start out serving the students at a particular school or cluster of schools and might expand to serve family members after hours. There are 2,000 school health clinics nationwide and two in Georgia.

In addition to Newton County Partnership, Hands On Newton and Oxford College, additional partners on the project are Newton County School System, the Newton County Health Department and representatives from community and faith-based organizations.