Most public schools are lucky nowadays to even have a full-time school nurse. But one Tallahassee school now has a full-time dental clinic to serve its students, and soon the surrounding community.

The school is Sabal Palm Elementary on the city’s south side, where Anna Kay Hutchison is the director of community partnerships. She said the new dental suite will provide critical care for the school’s students and will later be opened to the entire neighborhood.

“When you have something that’s in your neighborhood that you can walk to for dental health, physical health and primary health, this is what being a community school is all about.”

Scores of community partner organizations, including the Bond Community Health Center led by Dr. Temple Robinson, see this as possibly the first of many such school-based facilities.

“I say the sky’s the limit! And we want to limit this for a while, make sure we get it right, crossing the ‘Ts’ and dotting the ‘Is’ and then we’ll see maybe about expanding this.”

Sabal Palm Dental Suite.jpg
One of the 2 fully-equipped dental treatment suites at Sabal Palm Elementary School.

That would be a much needed service, she said, for those neighborhoods where most residents have little access to health care.

Originally posted by WFSU

By Tom Flanigan