LU, county explore health clinic partnership

Cole County Presiding Commissioner Marc Ellinger, center, and representatives from the Community Health Center of Central Missouri and Lincoln University meet to discuss plans for a renovation to the Thompkins Health Center on the Lincoln University campus.

Cole County Presiding Commissioner Marc Ellinger, center, and representatives from the Community Health Center of Central Missouri and Lincoln University meet to discuss plans for a renovation to the Thompkins Health Center on the Lincoln University campus.

The Cole County Commission, Lincoln University and the Community Health Center are looking at the possibility of a health clinic to help residents on the east side of Jefferson City.

On Monday, commissioners toured the Thompkins Health Center, located off of Lee Drive between Anthony and Bennett Halls on the LU campus.

Currently only part of the health center is being used. The building, which was opened in 1969, was designed as an infirmary and most of that part of the facility is not being used.

A new boiler was put in, but there are other facility maintenance issues.

Presiding Commissioner Marc Ellinger said LU is looking at expanding their offerings in public health and an expanded clinic could help give those students some experience.

“Getting the building needs taken care of I don’t think will be much of a problem,” he said. “What will be an issue is long-term issues such as if we decide we want to have say three or more people from our department based here, how do we pay for those folks.”

Officials from all the parties involved noted that transportation could be an issue, especially if they offered evening and weekend services since public transportation is not offered at those times. Currently, the health center only has on-call services for students on the weekends.

Ellinger said he thought there would still be a large amount of foot traffic due to the fact that the facility is centrally located on the campus and for many nearby neighborhoods.

For now, all parties have said they will sit down to do an assessment of the needs of the facility and then determine what exactly they think they can offer.

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