Rhinelander High School is now home to a new health care program that will benefit certain employees. We talked to Marta Kwiatkowski, director of business services, for the district to find out more.
Star Journal: When did this new clinic open?
Marta Kwiatkowski: The Aspirus-Rhinelander School District Clinic opened at the beginning of 2014.
SJ: What exactly is this new clinic?
MK: We contracted with Aspirus to implement this. It is located in the high school and is about 700 square feet of space. It includes two exam rooms and a rest room. It is actually a medical clinic inside the school.
SJ: Who is eligible to go to this clinic?
MK: It is available to all district staff and their spouses who have WPS insurance, which is our insurance carrier.
SJ: Will a doctor run the clinic?
MK: No, a nurse practitioner will be the care giver.
SJ: Why is having this clinic at the school an advantage?
MK: There are a couple of reasons why we thought this was a good idea. One is cost. The nurse practitioner will charge $85 an hour but in that hour four to five people may be seen. If those people would go to a clinic it could cost $200 to $300 dollars for each employee. We ran claims from previous years and found more than $1 million was spent on this type of care alone. This will be a big savings on health care for our employees and the school district. Another money saver is that we will not have to hire a substitute to take over for a teacher that needs to go to the doctor. An employee can get the care they need without leaving the school.
SJ: What sort of services will be available?
MK: Basically the services a patient would get if they went to a walk-in clinic for acute care. Ailments such as earaches, sore throats, rashes, stomachaches, that type of thing. Also preventative services will be available such as blood pressure, diabetes screening or allergy treatments.
SJ: How many hours will the practitioner be available?
MK: Twelve hours a week. There will be days when the clinic will be open after school and a couple of days when the clinic will be open before school starts. It will be open every day of the week at some time.
SJ: Will the public get a chance to check out the new clinic?
MK: Yes. We were going to have an open house and ribbon cutting last Tuesday but because of the weather it was postponed. Now the open house will be Tuesday, Jan. 14 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to come and see it. It is located in the high school by the library.