Canney leaves health center for new school job


(Posted Nov. 20, 2015)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Melissa Canney is stepping down as director of operations of the Rocking Horse Community Health Center in London to take a job with London City Schools.

On Nov. 17, the school board approved hiring Canney as the district’s student support specialist, a new position created to promote students’ educational well-being and mental health. Her efforts will focus primarily on the elementary grades.

Canney said the decision to leave Rocking Horse was a difficult one, but that she is excited to embark on something new that will help children in her community.

“I like new projects, start-ups. I like doing things that I can contribute to and develop,” she said.

Canney was founding director of the Madison County Health Partners Free Clinic, the precursor to Rocking Horse, which opened earlier this year.

“With the free clinic, I was on a mission,” she said. “It became obvious to me that this service needed to continue… because there are always going to be people who are uninsured who need this type of care in our community. The opportunity to partner with Rocking Horse was important in creating long-term stability for those people and our community.”

Once Rocking Horse was established, Canney said she felt ready to move on to a new challenge. She said she didn’t go looking for the school job, necessarily, but that it came to her. She said she is humbled by the district’s faith in her ability to fill the new position.

“I’ve always had a heart for the school district. I was on the (school) board for so long and raised my children in this community,” she said. “There are great people there and I’m excited to work with them.”

She said she will miss the patients and staff at Rocking Horse, but will remain supportive of the center’s mission.

Canney’s last day with Rocking Horse will be Dec. 11. She will start her new job with London City Schools on Dec. 17.

“(Melissa’s) experience and prior advocacy are a perfect match for the district,” said Superintendent Dr. Lou Kramer. “She will serve as a school, home and community liaison for the district’s at-risk students.”

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