LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – The Troup County School System has partnered with Wellstar West Georgia Medical Center to create a pediatric clinic at Callaway Elementary School. The ribbon-cutting took place on Tuesday and community leaders like Superintendent, Brian Shumate, were in attendance. 

“There’s a need in our more rural areas to have access to healthcare. We had these portable units sitting out back that weren’t being used and it made a lot of sense on many levels to choose this school,” said Shumate. 

According to Mandy Hill, the Executive Director of Troup Family Connection Authority, the organization received a planning grant in the amount of $10,000 from Emory School of Medicine. TCSS spent $100,000 renovating the space and the Callaway Foundation donated $75,000 for medical equipment and clinic furnishings.

The clinic has two exam rooms and Wellstar will be providing a nurse practitioner and pediatric supervision for the clinic. 

Shumate said the school system hopes to expand their partnership with Wellstar eventually and create pediatric clinics in several schools around the county. 

Coleman Foss, the President of Wellstar West Georgia Medical Center, has previous experience with school-based health clinics. 

“I said absolutely we’re interested in doing this. We think it’s a great way to identify a lot of kids who may not otherwise be able to get into a doctor’s office for a number of different reasons,” said Foss.  

Foss said one main goal the health system has is to identify some of the challenges students are facing early on and get them the help they need with local pediatricians for long-term care. 

He also said the clinic will allow them to reach more students than they typically would with traditional healthcare in a hospital. 

Foss said the clinic will work with all financial situations and will assist all students. He said they will work with each child’s individual needs and does not want finances to be a barrier. 

Foss and Shumate agree that the pediatric clinic will hopefully lower the number of students missing school for medical reasons.