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Feb. 1, 2012

The College of Nursing at Rush University opened its third Chicago school-based health center at the Chicago Public Schools' Simpson Academy for Young Women, a school for pregnant women and young mothers.

To mark the opening of the new health clinic, a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by city officials, executives from Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and Rush was held Friday, Jan. 27, at 10 a.m. at the Simpson Academy, which is located at 1321 S. Paulina St. in Chicago. Attendees include Rush CEO Larry J. Goodman, MD; CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard; Cook County Commissioner Robert Steele; Simpson Academy principal Joi Kidd-Stamps; Alderman Walter Burnett of the 27th Ward; Alderman Bob Fioretti of the 2nd Ward and others.

The Simpson Academy is a small school serving grades six to 12 that accepts students from throughout Chicago. Nurse practitioners from Rush University Medical Center and students from Rush’s College of Nursing provide on-site health and educational services. They also provide services for infants at a daycare center at the school. The aim is to help mothers and expecting mothers remain focused on schoolwork.

"This special health service provides an additional type of support to keep these girls on a solid academic track," said Sally Lemke, RN, an instructor at the Rush College of Nursing at Rush and the lead health care provider at the clinic. "So many of the girls were missing school because of prenatal visits or physical complaints related to their pregnancies. The hope is to increase the attendance rates."

The health services at the clinic encompass primary care, prenatal care, school and sports physicals and contraceptive services. There is also a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner to provide one-on-one and group sessions with students. A family nurse practitioner provides infants with well-child care, urgent care and immunizations, among other services.

"We anticipate that the addition of a comprehensive set of health services to the students attending Simpson Academy for Young Women will address barriers to learning and promote school attendance, as well as student behavior and engagement," said Richard G. Smith, chief officer for the Office of Special Education and Supports at Chicago Public Schools. "Together, with strong instructional practices and clinical and related services, we believe that these supports will assist the students in being successful."

Photo caption: The ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Simpson Academy for Young Women

 




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