Grand Opening Ceremony Held for White County School-Based Health Care Facility

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MedLink GA CEO, Dave Ward, cuts the ribbon to officially open White County’s new School-Based Health Center. The SBHC is located on the White County High School campus in the newly-renovated old Warrior Academy. (

The White County School System is celebrating the opening of its new School-Based Health Center. The school system held a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday at the facility on the campus of White County High School.

The program, recently approved by the school board, is a collaborative effort of White County Family Connection, MedLink Georgia, and White County Schools.

The health clinic, operated by MedLink, is staffed by qualified healthcare providers and support staff who provide preventative and primary care to students, teachers, and parents. Students must have their parent’s written permission before they can be served.

White County is among 34 counties in Georgia – six in North Georgia – with School-Based Health Centers (SBHC). Several counties have multiple health centers. According to the Georgia Department of Education, there are 113 SBHCs statewide that are either fully operational or pending. In addition to medical services, some also provide dental care. During Friday’s ceremony, MedLink Georgia CEO Dave Ward said there will be more clinics like this to come.

“Our vision is healthy individuals, healthy families, and healthy communities,” Ward said. “If we can achieve and have healthy students here in the school system, that’s going to drive them to be better academically and be in the classroom more.”

Georgia DOE provided a grant to cover renovations at the old Warrior Academy building where White County’s clinic is housed. MedLink obtained a federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to assist with other start-up costs.
White County School Superintendent Dr. Laurie Burkett (

Over time, White County’s SBHC is expected to become financially self-supporting through reimbursement for services. As a federally qualified health center, MedLink serves patients on a sliding scale and serves uninsured and underinsured patients, as well as those with insurance.

“Our motto here, our mantra here at the White County School System is to ‘be more.’ So, we want to care more and we want to serve more and we want to love more and we want to do more,” Superintendent of White County Schools Dr. Laurie Burkett told the crowd. “I think this is a concrete example of us being more as a school district.”

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