Hays CISD WELL Clinic Gets Permanent Home
Congressman Lloyd Doggett & St. David’s Foundation CEO Earl Maxwell to be among dignitaries at ribbon cutting & open house
June 17, 2013
On Monday, June 17, 2013, a dream that has been more than a decade in the making will come true. Hays CISD will celebrate the grand opening of a permanent school-based health center – the Hays CISD WELL (Wellness Encouraged through Lifelong Learning) Clinic. This facility, previously housed in a temporary portable building, has been among the only accessible and affordable sources of healthcare for Hays CISD’s estimated 8,000 students and their siblings who are economically disadvantaged.
In 2011, with support from Congressman Lloyd Doggett, Hays CISD was awarded a half-million dollar federal grant to build a much larger and permanent building for its WELL Clinic. St. David’s Foundation provided a generous gift of an additional $382,317.
“This clinic directly helps our students who are most in need, but we all benefit,” said Hays CISD Superintendent Mike McKie. “Students who have access to preventative care and treatment for minor illnesses are able to spend more time in the classroom and less time absent from school. Student learning and achievement improves and our community is healthier. Additionally, attendance-based state funding for the district increases, which allows us the opportunity to offer more educational opportunities for all of our students.”
The WELL Clinic currently provides immunizations, well-child checkups, sports physicals, diagnosis and treatment of minor illnesses and injuries, case management of chronic illnesses, prescription medications as needed, referrals to pediatric specialists for serious diseases, and health education on development, nutrition, disease, and injury prevention. Services are offered on a sliding fee scale based on a parent’s income. Qualified Hays CISD students, siblings, and children of students can receive services. A certified pediatric nurse practitioner and a registered nurse with a master’s degree in nursing provide care to the children.
The WELL Clinic began operation in 2001 and was housed in two elementary schools. Eventually, it moved to a portable building. The new facility will accommodate approximately 7,000 patients annually, nearly double what the old, portable facility could handle. The 3,700 square-foot building includes: nine exam rooms, a hearing testing room, sick waiting and well waiting areas, a vitals area, a nurses station, offices for providers, and work and storage space.
“We offer much needed services. This new facility will allow us to expand what we do – not only in terms of the number of people we can help – but also in the types of services we can offer. Healthy students learn better!” said Hays CISD Director of Student Health Services Ruth Roberts. “I also want to acknowledge Dr. Michael Grady who has served as our supervising physician since we opened in 2001. Without his support, there would be not be a WELL Clinic.”
U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett was among many community leaders who expressed support for Hays CISD’s efforts to obtain the grant. “At the time the clinic was founded, Hays County was designated as a ‘medically underserved’ county and the clinic was the only source for primary and secondary health care for many in the Kyle and Buda area. It has served as the medical home for hundreds of families and has served thousands of children in the county. As the Hays County population continues to grow, so do the needs of the WELL Clinic,” said Congressman Doggett in a letter of support for the clinic. The $500,000 grant to Hays CISD came from the United States Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The School-Based Health Centers Capital (SBHCC) Program (HRSA-11-127) is the first-ever source of federal funding to uniquely support school-based health centers.
St. David’s Foundation invests in a healthy community through funding, hard work, and initiatives to better care for the underserved and uninsured. "We are happy to support Hays CISD in their visionary efforts to provide onsite health care services for economically disadvantaged students in their schools. It makes good sense that a healthy child is better equipped to learn and succeed in school. This clinic is ideally suited to provide much needed health care for Hays CISD students," said Earl Maxwell, Chief Executive Officer of St. David's Foundation.
As a joint owner of St. David’s HealthCare, the Foundation achieves its goals by investing the proceeds from the hospitals back in the Central Texas community. This year, St. David's Foundation plans to give more than $45 million to the community through grants to numerous agencies, local safety net clinics, and the highly acclaimed St. David's Dental Program.