New school-based health clinic opens for the community - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

New school-based health clinic opens at Hayward Elementary for the community

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If you've ever taken a sick day, you know how sometimes you can get behind in your work or your studies.

The Sioux Falls School District is trying to prevent sick days with a new, school-based health clinic.

We have the Falls Community Health clinic in downtown Sioux Falls.

But for some parents, it's just not convenient, especially if you don't have a car.

So the school district and the department of public health want to promote wellness by keeping healthcare closer to home.

Makayla Erickson's not old enough to drive, she's only in the fifth grade, but already realizes the importance of her school's new health clinic.

"It will take less time to drive to and save your parents money.  It's easier for the people on this side so they don't have to drive across town to go to the clinic. If somebody gets hurt on the playground, it's easier access to the health clinic," Makayla said.

And Makayla's principal wants to get all of her students on a path to good health

Hayward Elementary principal Kiersta Machacek said "the first thing that comes to mind is kindergarten shots. Students have to have a certain amount of shots before they can start kindergarten. On that given day, and some parents don't believe they missed a shot, some parents, it just hasn't happened yet. that's one thing we can easily help them out."

A round of applause marks the debut of a new school based health clinic at Hayward Elementary. Public Health director Jill Franken tells us it's the school district's desire to improve both health and education.

"Every day that we can have student in the classroom learning, and not being interrupted in the their learning by things like an ear infection, strep throat, a sore tooth, those are the types of things that keep kids from learning," Franken said.

And the idea for the clinic started out as one of three wishes principal Machacek had for her school.

"That was one of my wishes, or one of my thoughts. Somewhere down the line, somebody should look into this, out here in this area. So obviously Dr. hollman though 'hey, that's something we should explore' and they went with it," Machacek said.

The Hayward Falls Community Health clinic is the city's third school-based health clinic.

The other two clinics are located at Hawthorne and Terry Redlin elementary schools.

And although it's in a school, it's open to everyone in the community.

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