Hattiesburg High School, Hattiesburg Public School District - On-campus school-based health clinics for students and faculty. Partner: Southeast Rural Health Initiative, Inc.

For more than a decade, the Hattiesburg Public School District and Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative partnership has been benefiting the educational and physical health of students and faculty.  And the partnership continues to grow and get stronger year after year. The mission of the partnership is to provide access to affordable quality primary and preventive health care to communities in a patient-centered, safe and compassionate environment. It also has helped improve student achievement, health and fitness, and overall student performance.

The partnership began providing on-campus school-based health services in 2004 and added more sites with the help of a grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services. More than ten years later, this partnership has continued to grow and now includes three locations for students and faculty to access primary and preventive health services, including a full-time clinic within Hattiesburg High School and a new clinic that opened in February.

During the 2013-14 school year, there were more than 7,300 student visits to school clinics. Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative provides access to a quality medical team of physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, and administrative staff.  Students of the district are afforded preventive and primary medical services at no cost, and services are available to all students regardless of insurance status.

More access to quality health care has resulted in a number of benefits. Students miss less school and guardians don't have to miss work to take them to doctor appointments. Students use the opportunity to get physicals and health screenings, and as we all know, healthy students are better learners.

In addition, many health concerns have been found and treated that would have otherwise not been noted, such as anemia, asthma, heart issues, diabetes, and other conditions that impact a student’s learning and productivity. School-based clinic partnerships have proven to be very beneficial for students and have helped increase school attendance as well as educational outcomes.