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Hurricane Health Center Ribbon Cutting

Hurricane Health Center held its Ribbon Cutting and Open House today at Ben Hill Middle School. This project began with conversations with Emory University Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Education. Opening school based health care centers has been going on in our state for a few years now to help create better healthcare for the students in rural Georgia. This mission was to make sure that all children in the public system have available access to care and be seen by a medical person if not feeling well. This mission has also grown to include mental health services for students.

Emory University Department of Pediatrics, Dr. Veda Jordan, Dr. Terri McFadden and Dr. Carolyn Aidman, reached out to Ben Hill County Schools with a grant opportunity. This grant was awarded in the amount of $10,000 for the planning of a school-based health clinic in an existing school.Bonnie Kelly initiated the grant on behalf of Ben Hill County Schools and Ben Hill Schools were awarded the initial planning grant. A board was formed for the school-based health clinic. The board members are: O.D. Netter, Chairman; Shirley Brooks, BH BOE Chairman/Board Liaison; Jason Floyd, Vice Chairman; Jonathan Burch; Becky Gay, CIS; Dr. Clarence Hunter, Medical Director for Hurricane Health Center; Holley Lee, PR for DMC; Rev. Chris Ramsey; Nora Roldan; Dr. Selena Dawson, Assistant Principal at BHMS; Melinda Carver, Operations Manager for South Central Primary Care; Savannah Maddox, Public Relations for South Central Primary Care; Bonnie Kelly, Grant Writer for Ben Hill County Schools and Jenny McCranie, Parental Engagement Coordinator for Ben Hill County Schools. 

The board had a meeting with R.B. Tucker, South Central Primary Care CEO, and an agreement was formed for South Central Primary Care to be the Medical Agent for the health clinic.  

The Department of Education awarded South Central Primary Care, the medical agent for Hurricane Health Center, a grant to remodel a place within Ben Hill County Schools. This project was done by Emily Harper, Harper Construction. The project was finished and the clinic officially opened in December 2022. Hurricane Health Center is actively seeing students and staff from all Ben Hill County Schools with medical needs as well as mental health needs. 

We are happy to have Casey Dix, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Martha Young, Medical Assistant at our center daily to see patients from 8:00am-4:00pm. Dr. Clarence Hunter, Pediatrician with South Central Primary Care, is the Medical Director. 

Thank you to all that has helped get this endeavor to fruition. This is a great asset to our schools and our students. Our students are able to be seen during school at early onset of their medical problems and return to school quicker and more efficiently. The Mental Health program is going well for our students and we are so happy to offer this service to help our students on campus as well. 

It is a great day to be a CANE!