HAYSVILLE, Kan. (KSNW) – Accessible and affordable, both physical and mental care, that’s what the Haysville celebrated Friday afternoon as the school district opened a school-based health clinic.

The clinic is in partnership with the KU School of Medicine-Wichita. Organizers hope to meet the physical and mental health needs of students in Haysville.

“The way this will help our families is tremendous,” said Linda Long, Haysville school-based health clinic coordinator.

For two years, a school-based clinic in Haysville has been Long’s brainchild. Friday it was born.

“I think this clinic will be a huge impact on the Haysville community because we have many families that are needing resources for clinics that take state-funded insurance,” said Long.

Many students are already signing up for appointments, and as the pandemic continues, the district’s head nurse said the mental health resources are crucial.

“We have kids that have mental health care needs or chronic care needs that they have just not got care for because they can’t get there, so this makes it local,” said Beth Schutte, Haysville school district head nurse.

One parent said those resources will help many students.

“I know school staff is struggling to handle all of the behaviors and all the issues that are coming from that some kids are just really scared right now, so this will really help ease that problem,” said Leslie Thomas, Haysville parent.

While the clinic currently has part-time hours, the hope is to continue expanding the time and availability to include staff.

“One of the biggest barriers to health care and keeping kids up with their preventative measures and illnesses is access to care,” said Aaron Ryan, executive director of the University of Kansas School of Medicine of Wichita and the Wichita Medical Practice Association.

It is the second school-based clinic that the KU School of Medicine in Wichita has opened. The first was in Valley Center and they said they hope to continue to expand to provide care in smaller communities.