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Co-Lin approves new student care clinic

WESSON – Health care will soon be just a few steps away for someCo-Lin students, after the college’s board of trustees Thursdayapproved an agreement with King’s Daughters Medical Center for anon-campus student care clinic.

The clinic will be open three days a week in the morning in alab in the nursing building, said Penny McAlpin, chairwoman of theboard’s Student Service Committee.

“It’s not an all-day type thing,” McAlpin said, adding that anold science lab will be renovated to accommodate the clinic, whichwill be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The agreement says the clinic will provide on-campus primaryhealth care services to Co-Lin students, personnel and personnelfamily members, and will also serve as a satellite facility forCo-Lin nursing students during their clinical rotation.

McAlpin said the previously arranged contract with a localdoctor to whom the college sends referrals will stay in place.

“We do currently have an agreement with Dr. Kyle Bateman, and wesend him referrals on students and athletes,” McAlpin said. “He hasbeen excellent to work with and this will not change that.”

The clinic will be staffed by nurse practitioners, and thefacilities and services will be provided to KDMC at no rent orcost. KDMC, according to the agreement, will be responsible foroperating the clinic and providing state-of-the-art medicalservices within 30 days of the Aug. 26 agreement, provide allessential equipment, provide qualified health care providers andnecessary services.

According to the agreement, Co-Lin and KDMC can both terminatethe agreement for any reason in the five years of the contract with30 days notice.

College President Dr. Ronald Nettles told the board that thelist of priorities they set up in late spring is under way withpotential plans to build a new men’s dormitory on the Wessoncampus. The board unanimously approved the administration toauthorize the Bureau of Buildings, Grounds, and Real PropertyManagement to include a men’s dorm in the request for professionalservices for new projects.

“This allows for the preplanning for the dorm,” Nettles said.”Having a pre-plan helps determine what size dorm we need, andwhether we need to phase it in.”

Nettles added that the $2.5 million the school has set asidecould be enough to start the building, but additional funds mightalso be needed. Bureau funds also needed to be ascertained beforeany of the numbers would be clear.

Nettles also said the new dormitory, which might be phased inover time, would eventually take the place of Ellzey Hall over aperiod of years.

“We don’t have enough funds right now to replace it bed forbed,” he said. “We need around 160. The first phase would only add60 to 80 beds, and we currently have 100 students on the waitinglist for dormitory space.”

Nettles said the new dormitory would not just be a replacement,but would need to add more dorm space.

In the meantime, Ellzey will be undergoing much-needed roofrepairs, Nettles said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Jane Hulon said enrollment on all three campusesis up 5 percent from last year, bringing the total number of Co-Linstudents to just under 3,500 district-wide. Wesson, she said, hasan enrollment of 2,017, up 55 from last year; Natchez rests at 896,up 89 from last year; and Simpson’s campus is up 157 from theprevious school year with an enrollment of 555.

“As you know … what we do now is important to our auditnumbers,” he said. “We’re still going to be in good shape if welose a few students, but we need to do everything possible to keepour students here.”