Highland Elementary to become a community health center

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School starts Wednesday for students in Mid-Del schools. The district voted this year to close Highland Park and Steed Elementary School due to low enrollment.

The school made the offer following a report showing Mid-Del public school enrollment has dropped significantly due to COVID-19. Now Highland Park will serve the community in a different way.

Isabella Lawson said Community Health Centers of Oklahoma recently purchased the more than 70,000 square foot building for $800,000.

After years of research, the organization is able to expand its services and open a health center in the Mid-Del region.

“There was a need and a shortage of health services, a shortage of dental services and certainly a shortage of behavioral health services,” Lawson said.

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, there is a need for mental health care in the area. Lawson said this new center will bridge the gap by bringing services to those in need.

“We hope we provide convenience. We want you out of the emergency room. We want you to be responsible and preventative…come to the doctor for those regular routine checkups,” Lawson said.

Community health centers plan to offer a one-stop shop for these checks and other services. They also want community input.

“Not only are we required to do a town hall or community gathering, but we’re also going to do a poll,” Lawson said.

Lawson said they plan to do renovations at the school for the rest of the year and open in early 2023.

Mid Del Schools said students and staff will begin the next school year at three different Mid-Del schools.

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