Konza Prairie Community Health Clinic CEO Lee Wolf discussed the idea of adding a health clinic to the new Junction City High School during this week’s Unified School District 475 meeting.

Wolf said Konza currently has a medical provider and a nurse working at Junction City High School, and plans are in the works to provide a behavioral health provider as well.

“The idea would be to continue as the new school is built,” Wolf said.

Wolf discussed the benefits a health clinic at the new high school — which will be built on the west side of Junction City, north of Kansas Highway 18 — would provide.

“This truly is an opportunity for the district and Konza to set a precedent of what a school-based health center should look like in their community,” Wolf said. “It supports the local hospital in keeping patients out of the emergency room. We are able to refer those students and faculty members that we see for acute appointments back to their primary care providers for follow up to the hospital for ancillary services — such as lab and X-ray — and streamline the process so the patients get the care and services they need. It keeps the emergency room free for emergencies.”

Board Vice President Dr. Anwar Khoury said funding for building the facility and operating it would be the main concern. Wolf said Konza would likely look into grant funding, and noted that having the school district’s support would be helpful in that process.

Board member Sarah Talley said she wanted to hold off on making a decision on the proposal until new Superintendent Dr. Reginald Eggleston has a chance to review the plan. Board member LaDonna Junghans said she would also like to hear from Geary Community Hospital CEO Joe Stratton about how the initiative would affect the hospital. The board did not make a decision on the proposal.

“We’ll have to think about it,” Khoury said.

In other business, Junction City High School Principal Melissa Sharp discussed results from the high school’s random drug testing program. The program is in its fifth year at the high school, and focuses on students who participate in athletics or other activities.

“We’ve conducted 69 tests as of March 18, with 64 negative tests and five positive tests,” Sharp said. “We do have future tests planned for the year.”

Testing numbers were down this year, as the school has tested 90-110 students in previous years, Sharp said. The only substance found in the positive tests received this year has been marijuana, Sharp said. She recommended continuing the program.

“I believe it to be a valuable thing,” Sharp said.

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