Onsite health clinic provides convenience, savings for Rhinelander school staff, taxpayersSubmitted: 10/11/2018
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

Onsite health clinic provides convenience, savings for Rhinelander school staff, taxpayers
RHINELANDER - Staff members see an on-site health clinic at Rhinelander High School as a convenient option.

The district sees it as a major budget savings.

It's looking to pass that savings on to local taxpayers.

The Aspirus Clinic serving staff and families of the School District of Rhinelander opened in 2014. It's now worth millions of dollars to the district and taxpayers.

Veteran special education teacher Neil Rumney has been coming to the clinic since it opened. He can just pop over on a free period during his day at James Williams Middle School.

"It's centrally located," Rumney said. "There's no lines, generally, and when we come into Aspirus Clinic here at the high school, we're seen immediately."

Rumney's wife and two children also get care in the small clinic, which takes up two exam rooms.

"We're a much smaller operation, so it feels much more homelike," said nurse practitioner Ashley Seiler, the primary physician at the clinic. "My goal has always been to be an approachable person. I don't want people to feel nervous coming in."

The district likes to see its staff saving time and money. It's one of the reasons it partnered with Aspirus four years ago for the in-school clinic.

"We were one of the first in Wisconsin, and definitely the first in the Northwoods," said Superintendent Kelli Jacobi.

Jacobi likes the clinic for another reason. It provides a big savings to the district's budget.

"Offering additional services can be a savings, instead of spending more, when we can treat things early, it is a huge cost savings," Jacobi said.

The district wants to pass those savings to taxpayers.

Voters approved a referendum for $5 million per year in 2015. Instead of asking them to renew that referendum, a November vote will ask for just $4.25 million per year.

"We've really used a team approach to make sure we're helping our employees and we're saving money," Jacobi said.

The district's health plan also offers preventative measures like biomarker tracking. Jacobi said she uses the offerings as a recruiting tool to draw new staff to the district.

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