Arnot Health and the Elmira City School District have joined together to provide professional health care for students in our area.

Monday marked an important day for members of the Elmira City School District after unveiling a new health clinic inside of Beecher Elementary School. This rare clinic will provide children and their families with the opportunity to receive free, professional medical care.

“The thought would be that it can avoid absenteeism and they can get quick, in the moment care, number one,” the Director of Graduate Medical Education at Arnot Health, Dr. Richard Terry, said. “Number two, they can get engaged and set up with a physician so they have a regular primary care provider.”

Arnot Health estimated that about 11.9% of families in Chemung County are without insurance. Therefore, this serves as a wonderful opportunity for families that are financially limited or lack insurance to receive professional medical care.

“If a child is sick, they go to the nurse’s office as they always have,” Arnot’s Senior Director of Population Health Rosemary Anthony said. “But it makes it very, very easy for the parent or guardian or grandparent to walk that child right down to the clinic and be seen. And many times, the caregiver is also ill, well that caregiver will be seen as well.”

On top of the free care being provided, the school district has also partnered with nearby pharmacies in order to ensure that patients will receive their medications even if they are too sick to retrieve them.

Arnot and the Elmira City School District believe that this clinic will improve the overall health of the district, avoid absenteeism, pave the way for future health care initiatives.

“But you know what,” Terry said. “Not one patient will be turned away. We’ll stay as long as it takes to care for anyone that needs care. That’s how it will be.”