Monday, September 1, 2008

Glencliff clinic helps teens, area

By JAIME SARRIO (Tennessean) • September 1, 2008 It's not even lunch at Glencliff High School, but Katandra Majors and crew have already seen five patients. Most want to get a physical so they can play sports this school year. Others are sick and get some medicine before going back to class. One just likes to hang out on her lunch break and ask questions. All of them are Glencliff students and therefore eligible for free treatment at the school's new clinic, which opened this year. It's a program offered in five Metro schools by the Nashville nonprofit United Neighborhood Health Services. But the Glencliff program is a little different because it also serves members of the Woodbine community. After school lets out at 2 p.m., anyone can come in and receive basic medical care from the nurse practitioner and medical assistant. The clinic charges a sliding scale fee, but no one is turned away. People are asked to pay what they can, and the clinic accepts insurance, said Majors. "It's a diverse community," said Majors, a medical assistant at the clinic. "A lot of people don't have ways to get to the doctor, or they don't have insurance or they don't have money for a co-pay." United Neighborhood has been running clinics in Metro schools for 15 years, but most are inside the schools, so it isn't safe to let visitors in and out for care. It also makes it hard to stay open after school hours. Glencliff offers access Glencliff's clinic has a side door that allows for easy access. That was at the request of Principal Tony Majors, no relation to Katandra, who sees the clinic as much more than a way to keep students healthy. "Our vision for the school is to be the central focus of the community," he said. "We can provide education services, career development, training, job placements, and it can be done in an environment that is safe and supportive." The new clinic fits into a bigger plan for Glencliff High School, which along with several Metro schools is launching a health science career academy to better show students what jobs may await them. The school wants to offer emergency medical technician certification before graduation, and plans to open a full cardio and weight room in a few weeks to complement the new aquatic center at the school. "It's real-world application. No longer are we requiring students to learn with just a paper and pencil," Majors said. "We want them to work with, meet with and have discussions with professionals in the field because they have the opportunity to provide insights that teachers can't." Laura English has insurance and said she usually picks daughter Kelly, a senior at Glencliff, up from school when she's sick. But now she feels comfortable sending her to the clinic as an alternative. "There's a lot of lower income people in this community who don't have insurance," she said. "I think it is a good idea." Contact Jaime Sarrio at 726-5964 or

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