After nearly 50 years, Fayette schools ending nurse contract with Lexington health department

A nearly 50-year relationship between the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department and Fayette County Public Schools that provided nurses to local schools is ending, district officials announced Monday.

“FCPS has selected another vendor to provide nursing staff services for all schools starting July 1, 2024. This contract is for one year, ending June 30, 2025, and has an option to renew,” said district spokesperson Dia Davidson-Smith.

The decision came after a request for proposal process that included a bid, technical proposal and interview from several companies and organizations, including the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, Davidson-Smith said.

“We have been notified that the health department was not selected for school health services for the upcoming year,” Health Department spokesperson Kevin Hall said Monday. “We are proud of the work we have provided Fayette County for almost 50 years and look forward to continuing our mission of helping Lexington be well.”

Hall said the contract had been in effect for 49 years.

School district officials released a document that showed the new vendor, Maxim, outbid the health department.

The health department bid $4,565,138 for services. Maxim bid $3,143,850.

The document from district staff said school nurses help students with chronic health conditions and medical needs so they are able to safely participate in school, have good attendance and maximize their academic achievement.

In addition, they team with school staff to promote healthy activities and a healthy school environment, according to the document.

Ten vendors responded to the request for proposals. A review committee of stakeholder representatives were impaneled to review the written proposals and interview the top four scorers.

Scoring was based on cost (30%), the technical proposal (30%) which included qualifications, licenses, tracking and reporting, references (10%) and the interview (30%). After all scores were calculated, Maxim health was the highest score and recommended for award.

Maxim’s score was 391.4 The health department’s score was 241.1, the document said.

The bid document will be on the agenda for the December 4 Fayette school board meeting.

The number of nurses impacted by the decision is between 54 to 58, Davidson-Smith said.

Officials with Maxim told the school district they are willing to interview and hire the current nursing staff members if they are interested in staying with the current school where they work, she said.

“While this is ending a nearly 50-year relationship with (the Lexington-Fayette Health Department), FCPS is in no way compromising student health care or employee access to employment,” Davidson-Smith said.

This is a developing story and may be updated.

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