New health center provides Forest Hills Middle School students with more medical care

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Students at Forest Hills Middle School in Wilson can get extra health services during the school day with the addition of the Wilson Area Student Health Center. (WTVD)

Students at Forest Hills Middle School in Wilson can get extra health services during the school day with the addition of the Wilson Area Student Health Center.

The center functions like an urgent care with a staff that can perform flu and strep tests, administer immunizations, perform sports physicals, and many other services.

The facility has two exam rooms, a lab, and office space. It is staffed by physician assistant Susan Edwards, registered nurse Robin Abeyounis, and office coordinator Emily McDuffie.

"We provide primary care services as well as health education," said Wilson County Health Director Teresa Ellen. "We have nutritionists that provide services and a prevention social worker, so our scope is much broader than the school nurse's scope."

Within the first two months of opening, the staff has treated nearly 40 students.

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School officials said the center, which accepts insurance, can save parents time.

"A student can be seen by the team in the clinic and they can get a prescription called in," said Forest Hills Middle School principal Cheryl Baggett. "The parent is contacted. They are told why their child has been seen and they can come pick up their child, go pick up the prescription and the child won't have to make another stop at a doctor's office."

All parents have to do is enroll their children, so they can utilize the services.

The Healthcare Foundation of Wilson awarded a $220,000 grant for the center. The school was chosen because it's the largest middle school in the county with more than 550 students.

The company said their hope is to expand this concept to other schools in the county.

To personalize this center, students helped name it and even painted a mural in front of it.

For more information about services or how to enroll your children, contact the Wilson County Health Department at (252) 237-3141.

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