Full-Time Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Joins School-Based Health Center
Students at Houghton Lake High School can now access medical care provided by a new Nurse Practitioner, Carissa Bonner, M.S., R.N., C.P.N.P., who is with the MidMichigan Community Health Services School-Based Health Center at HLHS.
Bonner is originally from Corunna. She has worked as a pediatric registered nurse at Duke University and spent several years as a traveling nurse in the hematology, oncology and bone marrow transplant fields. Bonner has bachelor of science degrees in human biology and nursing. She recently completed her master’s degree in parent-child nursing. Bonner specializes in health care for children from birth to age 21, focusing on health promotion and disease prevention.
Bonner said that she was drawn to the School-Based Health Center at Houghton Lake High School because she spent summers at family cabins on Higgins Lake and has an interest in working with youth in the community.
"I’m enjoying getting to know the students and staff, and being part of the team that provides health and education for our students," Bonner said.
MidMichigan Community Health Services supports another School-Based Health Center at Roscommon Middle School. The School-Based Health Centers deliver comprehensive primary care and a wide range of support services. The scope of service includes issues that affect the youth today, such as asthma, diabetes, mental health, drug abuse, teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
The program increases access to health care for students who are uninsured, underserved and have no means of transportation. With parental permission, students are served regardless of their ability to pay, and the program accepts most insurances and Medicaid.
"Students and parents love the School-Based Health Centers," Tracy Wilson, School Health Services support coordinator, said. "There has been a large, positive response in the district. This is such an important program because it helps keep kids healthy and in the classroom."
The Houghton Lake School-Based Health Center is open Monday through Friday. Hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Center’s staff will accept student walk-in appointments between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., but encourages students to be proactive about their own health care by scheduling appointments in advance as much as possible. Appointments can be made by calling the School-Based Health Center at (989) 366-2061.