On the recommendation of superintendent John Parrish, the Booneville School Board tabled, until at least next year, the idea of seeking grant funding for a school-based wellness clinic.
Essentially, Parrish said he made the recommendation to avoid potential hurt feelings by health care providers.
“I was naive thinking that there would not be problems,” said Parrish. “I think any time you use grant money to put in a clinic when there are people in the community who make their living in the health care field or the dental field you feel like there’s somebody going to get into their pocket, I think there could be some hard feelings.”
Parrish said the result was an unintended consequence.
“I don’t think any one of us wanted to do anything but try to do a good thing, and we had no idea it would be such a divisive issue– I still think this would be a valuable endeavor – none of us wanted it to be something that would divide our community, but I think it has kind of come to that point.”
“I agree, due to the circumstances, we should,” board member Bill Oliver said.
Without being specific, Parrish said if some things work themselves out the matter could be revisited next year. The deadline for the grant for this year is March 20.
The clinic has been an agenda point in the last three school board meetings with Jared Cleveland and Dr. Richard Eccles addressing the board in November, Mercy Clinic and Booneville community Hospital officials doing so in December and both entities making pitches last month.
“I would like to thank the board, there’s been a lot of communication between board members and myself and when I spoke with all of you, you guys had a heart for wanting to help children. Sometimes we just stump our toe and we need to go on and see what we can learn from it next time,” said Parrish.
After the motion – made by Oliver and seconded by Mike Farris – to table the clinic plans passed without exception, the agenda item as to where to locate the clinic became a moot point.