Turner County Schools receive new grant - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Turner County Schools receive new grant

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By Ryan Houston - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB) –Turner County Schools and The Turner County Family Connection have just received a $12,000 planning grant through Emory University. It's one of eleven planning grants awarded throughout Georgia.

The money will be used to assess the needs for a school based health clinic in Ashburn.  School officials say they're just in the beginning stages.

hey plan to figure out the cost, need and demand for a program of that magnitude. The only major change is that the doctor's visit would be held at school.

This dental facility served five counties, through federal grant money that kept the doors open. "We looked for additional funds and we found it through Georgia Baptist Foundation, which carried us another eight months," said Rural Smiles Manager Brenda Lee. 

Even though services were free, the bills and everything else involved was pretty expensive. "With a $150,000, we could reopen the clinic," said Lee. 

If the funds for Rural Smiles are not found, all the equipment might be donated to a new school based initiative. "So if we weren't able to get the school based clinic open, schools could have this equipment," said Lee.  

This grant will give them  a chance to put pen and paper to the project. "We can kind of help to be a triage, that would help EMS to not get so many emergency calls," said Grant Administrator Gloria Pylant.

"We would work with our providers in our area, to staff that clinic with their personnel. We would not be in competition with our health care providers," said Supt. of Turner County School Ray Jordan. 

Why would a school system be looking into something like this? "If parents give permission to a provider in our schools, we minimize the time out of class for young people," said Jordan.  

Knowing the needs of the community is crucial to what services might be offered. "Mental Health Services, we don't have a pediatrician in Turner County, so it would be great to bring a pediatrician in," said Pylant.  

Not planning to succeed is planning to fail. With no hospital in Turner County, this might just be what the doctor ordered.

If this idea is adopted, it's not a free service. You'll be charged the same as any other doctor's visit. Turner County Schools are requesting input from parents, students, and the community.

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