Beaumont expands in-school clinics to more Metro Detroit schools with grant

More students in Metro Detroit will have access to health care in school, thanks to a grant from the state health department - allowing Beaumont to expand its on-site clinics.

When Brooklynn Stafford attended Adams Middle School in the Wayne-Westland Community School District, she says a therapist provided important help with her mental health.

Most importantly - the clinic was available on school property.

"Because if there’s something going on in school or if it was interfering with school, I could just come down here and have that resource," Stafford said.

"At Beaumont we’ve been doing the school-based healthcare for a while," said Erin MacLeod Smith, clinical therapist, Beaumont Teen Health Centers.

A new grant from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services means expansion into more schools for the centers.

"We have five fully school-based healthcare clinics, we have five mental health-only sites, we have a school link site in Taylor and a school wellness program," Smith said. "Adding these additional four more sites is amazing."

The new clinic sites Beaumont will oversee will be at Grosse Point North, Woodhaven, and Westland John Glenn High School.

The John Glenn site brings additional resources to the Wayne-Westland Community School District.

"We're excited to expand our services from not only this space, but across our district and the high school setting," said Daryl Beebe, Wayne-Westland Community School District.

School officials say parents don’t have to lose a day of pay to get medical care for their child.

"They don’t have to miss work, they’re able to allow the child to receive treatment without having to be on-site," Beebe said.

And thanks to resources provided by grants there’s no insurance involved.

"It removes a lot of barriers," Smith said. "These clinics are designed to not only meet kids where they’re at, but to keep kids in school regardless of insurance."

Having clinics inside schools is key, say medical care professionals -  because sometimes what seems like a stomach ache is something more.

"We do comprehensive risk assessments to all students that come in," Smith said. "So students who have chronic stomach aches and chronic headaches are oftentimes finding out it’s a mental health issue. So we're identifying it early and getting them the treatment that they need."

The MDHHS grant will also work to establish a clinic at Oxford High School But it will be operated by the Oakland Integrated Healthcare Network.

Medical professionals say it’s this type of care that shows doing well in schools is about more than good grades.

"How critical it is to have integration of healthcare," Smith said. "We have the medical and mental health working together - that’s how we help." 

Erin MacLeod Smith is a clinical therapist and manager of mental health for Beaumont Teen Health Centers.

Erin MacLeod Smith is a clinical therapist and manager of mental health for Beaumont Teen Health Centers.