Anyone with young children knows, ear infections, coughs and colds spread like wildfire at school. For some families, getting their children treated for minor illnesses means taking time off from work and spending time in clinic waiting rooms waiting to be seen by a doctor.

But families at Hayward Elementary in Sioux Falls are benefiting from a newly opened clinic located right in the school. If a child is ill or not feeling well at school they can be seen at the school’s clinic by a nurse practitioner.

“The parent gives consent for the child to be seen. The parent does not need to be present. It helps parents who have difficulty getting off work,” said Judy Kendall, RN and Clinical Services Manager for Falls Community Health.

The Hayward clinic is the third to open at a Sioux Falls School. Currently Terry Redlin offers health care as well at Hawthorne Elementary. It’s a partnership between the city of Sioux Falls Health Department and the Sioux Falls School District.

“We try to go into areas that are high need, vulnerable populations. The benefit is the child loses less educational time,” said Kendall.

The Hayward Clinic and Terry Redlin clinics are open four hours per day and are full-fledged neighborhood clinics that are open to the public is well. The services are not just for school students.

If a student is referred to the clinic the health care providers are in contact with every parent. Let them know exactly what is going on. They will be open all summer, too.

If they have another provider that is not Falls Community Health the primary doctor will receive a summary of the visit. There is no loss of continuity for care. The Hayward clinic also offers dental care.

The clinic at Hawthorne is open two hours per day and is restricted to only Hawthorne students and their families because there isn’t a separate entrance. The patients must go into the school to be seen by a health care provider.

“It’s a win-win for the family. It’s a win-win for the students. The teachers really like it. If the child isn’t ill enough to miss school they can be sent to the clinic.  They don’t miss as much class time,” said Kendall.

The clinics take private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid patients. If you don’t have insurance you pay based on your income, a sliding fee-scale.