CORUNNA —The Health and Human Services Committee Tuesday advanced a motion authorizing the Health Department to accept a grant from the Michigan Primary Care Association for the Durand School Wellness Program totaling $150,000.

The money will pay for a nurse employed by the Shiawassee County Health Department and a social worker who will work at both Durand high school and middle school full time.

The grant covers the salary of both employees and allows them to offer a full range of nursing, social work and mental health services for students, officials said.

“Over the years school nursing has been cut in budgets and this helps provide a critical need for students,” said Larry Johnson, director of the Shiawassee County Health Department. He said there are minimal costs to the county for the program.

Durand will have to provide the nurse and social worker a place to work.

Johnson said Durand was the only school in the area that applied for the grant.

Perry schools recently was awarded a similar grant for a mental health professional. Johnson said he hopes that is the first step in getting a nurse for the Perry school district.

Commissioner John Plowman, R-District 7, said the board is excited about the grant and wants to see other schools apply.

The full board could consider final approval Thursday afternoon.

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