Roanoke City Public Schools announced Tuesday it will open a pediatric health clinic and community center at the new Fallon Park Elementary through a partnership with Carilion Clinic and two other businesses.

Freedom First Credit Union and Delta Dental of Virginia are working with the school system and Carilion as part of the project titled Local Impact for Tomorrow. The announcement came during a Roanoke School Board meeting.

The initiative will provide services to students and local families in southeast Roanoke, such as physical and oral health and financial wellness.

The facility is expected to open in August 2020 along with the new Fallon Park Elementary. The school’s renovation and expansion project should be completed next summer.

School nurses and a nurse practitioner will provide clinical services to help students and their families at the Fallon Park facility. United Way of Roanoke Valley provided grant funding for a community health worker to help students and families meet needs such as transportation, job training and access to appointments.

The facility will have its own entrance separate from the school. Some services for members of the southeast community will be provided only after school hours.

Shirley Holland, Carilion’s vice president for planning and community development, said Superintendent Rita Bishop reached out to Carilion three years ago about meeting health needs in a nontraditional way.

Holland said the clinic will offer medical services for students at the school, providing care to sick children in addition to health care maintenance.

Asthma was identified as a health care issue at Fallon Park Elementary, and the clinic will try to address it with intervention strategies, Holland said.

Dr. Kimberly Dunsmore, who is chair of pediatrics for Carilion Clinic, said the clinic at Fallon Park will provide health care to children who aren’t insured at no cost. If a student is insured through Medicaid, for instance, Carilion would bill Medicaid, Dunsmore said.

The clinic will provide other health care-related services to families in the evenings. Carilion is looking at ways it can further extend its health services at the facility, Dunsmore added.

Frank Lucia, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Virginia, said the partnership allows the insurance agency to work directly with students and families to learn what their oral health needs are, and how they can be met.

“Our hope with this project is that a unified approach will lead to healthier, happier lives in the Fallon Park community by creating an access point and more convenience for the community,” Lucia said.

Freedom First President and CEO Paul Phillips said there’s an intersection between health and financial wellness.

Dave Prosser, Freedom First’s senior vice president of community development, said families will receive assistance through an affordable housing initiative and other financial programs that focus on credit scores and debt management.

Fallon Park Principal Nikki Mitchem said the initiative will benefit the school and community as a whole.

“It’s going to help our students at Fallon Park Elementary School, as well as impact the whole southeast community,” Mitchem said.

Bishop credited Deputy Superintendent Dan Lyons, and his predecessor, retired Deputy Superintendent Steve Barnett, for their work on the initiative.

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