Two medical providers will be setting up shop in Carthage High School over the coming weeks after the R-9 Board of Education gave its ok to contracts with Mercy and the Ozark Center.

Two medical providers will be setting up shop in Carthage High School over the coming weeks after the R-9 Board of Education gave its ok to contracts with Mercy and the Ozark Center.
The board voted 6-1, with board member Bill Lasley casting the dissenting vote, to approve a contract with Mercy to install a medical clinic in a former teacher's work area in the High School.
Lasley joined the other six board members in saying yes to bringing therapists and counselors from the Ozark Center to set up shop in the counselor's suite of offices in the High School.
Lasley said he had more questions about the wording of the contract with the Ozark Center, but he saw the need for mental health professionals to be on campus more than he saw the need for the medical clinic.
In a post on the district's Facebook page, Baker gave a detailed description of how each clinic would work and who they will serve.
He said the Mercy Health Clinic would be available to “Carthage students, staff, and immediate family members of staff. For the safety of our students, the MHC (Mercy Health Clinic) is not available to the public.”
The clinic will follow the same rules and regulations as any health care provider's office, including protecting patients' privacy under federal rules.
“MHC is just like any other primary care provider’s office, Express/Convenient Care, etc,” Baker wrote. “The only difference is MHC is located in the high school. A parent or guardian must consent to provide treatment to a student under the age of 18. The exception to this is a life threatening illness or sexual health related issues.”
He said the district's procedures regarding children who get sick while in school will not change.
But when a parent is called to pick up a child who is too sick to stay in school, the parent will be told about the Mercy Health Clinic, and the parent can decide whether to go there or to their own doctor or other medical provider, or not seek medical attention.
With students at the high school, a parent can sign a concent form to allow the student to go straight to the clinic when a nurse declares the child too sick to stay in class.
Costs will be billed to the family at the same rate as if the parent went to any other clinic, Baker said.
Baker said the agreement with the Ozark Center is similar to the agreement with Mercy, and things such as billing will be similar as well.
He listed the following procedures with the Ozark Center clinic:
• Ozark Center personnel will start their day at the high school, but may spend part of the day or week at other locations. The schedule may change to accommodate the needs of the school or the students/patients.
• Ozark Center will offer therapy and community support services to patients, as defined above, at the school.
• As with the present procedure, school counselors and/or administrators will contact Ozark Center personnel if a self-harm report is received.
• School personnel will stay with the child until Ozark Center personnel arrive on-site.
• School personnel relinquish responsibilities once Ozark Center personnel arrive.
Baker said the Ozark Center will not charge the district or family for crisis services if the Center's mobile access crisis personnel are called in to help the school.
“However, the actual follow-up appointment is not free. OCC will invoice the appointment costs to the parent just as if the appointment was held at an off-site Ozark Center facility,” Baker wrote. “Ozark Center, a Freeman affiliated provider, must follow their typical protocol regarding health insurance coverages, release of information, and patient privacy rules.”