Mount Carmel Health Systems and the Reynoldsburg City School District have agreed to partner on a project that will bring a health center to the Livingston Avenue high school campus and provide educational opportunities for the district’s students.
The Reynoldsburg Board of Education approved a memorandum of understanding with Mount Carmel Health Systems for the project on Dec. 20.
The center is slated to open in mid-February and will be housed just inside the entrance to the school’s Health, Science and Human Services Academy.
It will be open to the public and will operate independently of school hours. It will be staffed by two medical practitioners and administrators.
In return, Mount Carmel has agreed to provide special educational opportunities for students enrolled in the academy, at no cost to the district.
Reynoldsburg schools community outreach spokesperson Tricia Moore said the agreement means students will have the opportunity to learn from health care professionals while providing a service to the community.
“It’s huge,” Moore said. “Any time we can create opportunities for our students to learn from professionals in the field and to participate in service to our community alongside professionals, that’s extremely valuable.”
As part of the agreement, Mount Carmel has also will pay the utilities for the space as well as furnish it.
Brian Pierson, director of community outreach for Mount Carmel Health Systems, said this is the first time Mount Carmel has engaged in such a venture with any school in central Ohio.
“There are schools that have student health centers, but this will serve the entire community,” he said. “This will be similar to any other primary care health center, probably open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and open during the summer, so when school is closed, it will still be open.”
The Mount Carmel agreement adds to a growing list of partnerships the school district has launched this year.
Beginning this school year, Reynoldsburg’s Encore Academy on Summit Road partnered with the BalletMet Dance Academy to offer courses in Pilates and yoga.
The courses are being held on the second floor of the academy at no cost to the school district in a state-of-the-art dance facility.
In return, the partnership allows BalletMet to use the facility after school hours to offer its regular dance classes to the public.
Reynoldsburg Superintendent Steve Dackin said the district is currently engaged in conversations with Columbus State Community College to create a potential regional campus hub at the Livingston Avenue campus.
While nothing is finalized, discussions are in early phases and if a deal is reached, it will become part of the district’s college career-ready agenda in its Business, Education, Leadership and Law Academy.
Dackin said the plan calls for students to take high school courses that would also count toward college credit. By the time they graduate from RHS, they may be eligible to receive an associate of arts degree.
Dackin said the district will continue to search out similar partnerships in the future.
“We’re going to continue to actively search out partnerships and opportunities to share services,” he said. “We think both of those are value-added propositions to our kids, and in the case of Mount Carmel, it’s a value added proposition to the community as well.
“Where we can find those opportunities, we want to engage, so those are important to us, and we’re very pleased with the partnerships that have been developed to this point,” he said. “We will continue to look toward the future to see to what extent we can facilitate partnerships for the district.”