Construction to begin on first Cy-Fair ISD school-based health clinic

Cy-Fair ISD Superintendent Mark Henry gathered with administrators and trustees Dec. 14 to celebrate the groundbreaking of a school-based health center at the new Cypress Park High School. Cy-Fair ISD Superintendent Mark Henry gathered with administrators and trustees Dec. 14 to celebrate the groundbreaking of a school-based health center at the new Cypress Park High School.[/caption]

Ground broke Dec. 14 on the first-ever Cy-Fair ISD school-based healthcare clinic. The federally qualified clinic will serve district students and staff as well as members of the community.

The 10,000-square-foot facility will be located on the 179-acre multi-school site at the corner of FM 529 and Westgreen Boulevard where Cypress Park High School is also under construction. Both the clinic and the high school are expected to open together in August 2016.

CFISD Superintendent Mark Henry said the clinic will bring access to affordable healthcare to thousands of students.

“There is such a need in many of our communities for healthcare services for our students and their families,” he said. “It will be a much less expensive option for families that typically rely on hospitals and emergency rooms, especially when treating things like strep throat or the flu.”

The center was made possible because of a partnership between CFISD and Good Neighbor Healthcare Center, a nonprofit that has helped build federally qualified health clinics across the Greater Houston area. Their partnership was first announced at a May 11 CFISD board meeting.

“The clinic will have the ability to serve all members of the family,” Good Neighbor CEO Ann Thielke said. “This has been done in other parts of the country. The statistics show that there is an 85-percent reduction rate in absences and a decrease in manageable diseases like asthma.”

The facility is designed to provide health services to medically underserved populations. Integrated health care services include pediatric care, adult care, dental, vision, nutrition, mental health, psychiatry and behavioral health, Thielke said. The clinic will also offer vaccinations and physicals.

Henry also commented on the link between a student’s health and their academic performance.

“One of our goals as a district is to have healthy students and families,” he said. “If we can catch some of these illnesses earlier, that means students get healthy, back in the classroom and back to learning faster.”

Transportation to the center will be offered by the district to students at Cypress Springs and Cypress Lakes high schools as well as Hopper, Kahla, Thornton and Watkins middle schools.

As an additional benefit, having the center on district property gives students interested in the healthcare industry the opportunity to work directly with doctors through health occupancy courses, Cypress Park High School Principal Chris Hecker said.
By Shawn Arrajj
Shawn Arrajj serves as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper where he covers the Cy-Fair and Jersey Village communities. He mainly writes about development, transportation and issues in Harris County.