Revamping the Nurse’s Office

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ARCHBALD -- Funds for schools dwindle both at the state and national level, but are private businesses in the future for public schools?

A local healthcare provider is taking a shot at helping public schools, using their money to build better school nurse offices.

A group met on Monday, and was made up of doctors and school superintendents. Everyone that met had a common interest: keeping students healthy. The doctors were from the Wright Center in Lackawanna County, a primary care group, and doctor's school.

The educators were from North Pocono, Lakeland, Valley View, and Scranton school districts. The districts in Lackawanna County were among eight in the country receiving grant money, and some serious improvements through the Wright Center.

"It upgrades all the equipment and tools, to basic hearing and vision screenings, to fundamental things like stethoscopes and water fountains," said Dr. Linda Thomas-Hemak, from the Wright Center.

The Wright Center is helping the districts revamp their schools' nurse's offices. Work is already underway at the Valley View School District. There will be a new nurse's office at all three of the district's schools. Something that was needed, the superintendent said, but hard to do on a tight budget.

"It was a $500,000 grant to begin with. Nothing comes out of the school district operating fund and we're still waiting for further grants so it can become operational at our school," said Superintendent of Valley View School District Don Kanavy.

The superintendents met with the doctors from the Wright Center to see how the schools could best spend their $500,000 grant.

"A lot of the students who attend our school district are from lower economic status, so this will truly benefit those students and help our nurses," said Superintendent of Scranton School District, William King.

King said he plans to team up with the Wright Center again, and thinks through this plan, someday there may be doctors in his schools.