Health center necessary, stats show

This is Part 3 of a series

The Student Health and Wellness Center occurred not on a whim, but rather because of statistics coming from Quincy High School that indicated the need for a center.

The Quincy School District put together an infographic of information they collected based on attendance data and surveys given to students at the high school.

The infographic covered statistics on physical and mental health including how many QHS students missed school during the year due to illness (510 in the 2017-18 school year, 601 the next year), how many total days of school missed (1750 total in 2017-18, and 3,120 the next year).

The infographic also reported that 39 percent of grade 12 students and 36 percent of grade 11 students reported feeling sad or hopeless for at least two weeks in the past year.

“The center adds one more layer of protection for our students,” Quincy School District Superintendent John Boyd said. The center, Boyd said, gives students another resource to have their physical and emotional needs met so that they can focus on school and stay in school.

The school district built a coalition group to help decide whether the district needed a student health center, and to what extent it would serve students. Coalition Members included:

• Quincy Community Health Center

• Grant County Health District

• Quincy Valley Medical Center

• Quincy School District Staff

• Quincy High School Students

• Quincy Partnership for Youth

• Community Ministers

• Quincy School Board

Quincy Faith Community Church Pastor Jess Slusher participated in the coalition.

He said the coalition discussed issues like the scope of its services and investigated what schools in other communities did. Slusher said that they focused on schools that shared the same community environment and values as Quincy.

“I appreciated the opportunity to give input,” said Slusher.

Now that the Student Health and Wellness Center is no longer a dream, but a reality, Boyd said, adding “The center is critical to COVID-19 and supporting students during this difficult time.”

The new Health and Wellness Center in the high school not only provides vaccines, testing and sports physicals, it also provides mental health services with referrals and tele-health consults.

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