Free clinic at Lakewood High School gets mixed reactions from parents

A free clinic opening up inside Lakewood High

A free clinic opening up inside Lakewood High School is raising concerns for the safety and health of the students. (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

LAKEWOOD - A free clinic opening up inside Lakewood High School is raising concerns for the safety and health of the students.

The clinic is primarily for students and their families, but will also be open to the public.

The old nurse's office inside the school is being converted into a facility with five exam rooms. It will be staffed with a doctor and nurse weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for students, their families and the general public.

But some say opening the doors to the public comes with some risk. "You let people in off the street, you don't know who you're letting in," says Rosela Allen. "You might let someone in that's dangerous."

Ocean Health Initiatives says the clinic will be safe, utilizing a school guard, security cameras and a separate entrance for the public where people must be buzzed in.  

But some parents and residents say they're not comfortable that students will share the waiting room with outside patients.

Some school district employees told News 12 New Jersey that they can't understand how sick students are urged to stay home so their illnesses don't spread, yet people who could be sick are being allowed into the building.

The head of OHI says the goal of the federally funded program is "to increase graduation rates for students by keeping them healthy."

Flora Galindo, a mother of four, says she is happy the services are coming to her child's school, since the community is lacking in health care. "I think it's better because we could have good doctors over there," she says.

New Jersey's commissioner of education had to sign off on the clinic. OHI currently runs a smaller clinic inside Lakewood's Clifton Avenue School.

No announcement has been made about when the clinic at the high school will open.

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