In partnership with Falcon School District 49, Peak Vista Community Health Centers is opening a school-based health center at Falcon Elementary School. The new health center is slated to open Aug. 7 and is the center’s third school-based health center.
Carmel Middle School in Harrison School District 2 and the Cripple Creek Victor School District house the other two school-based health centers, said Randy Hylton, director of communications for Peak Vista. Both sites provide behavioral and medical care in an integrated model that will be duplicated at Falcon Elementary, he said.
Peak Vista applied for a grant to fund the health centers and was awarded a total of $500,000 for all three.
The goal behind the school-based health centers is to provide federally funded health care to ensure that communities have healthy children, Hylton said. The team manager for Peak Vista, Amber Athey, said, “In theory, with a school-based health center in or near a school, you have happier, healthier, well-adjusted children that are ready to learn."
The health center will offer services that include physicals, sports physicals, immunizations and acute care, Athey said. Students of Falcon Elementary and their siblings within the district who are 21 years of age and younger can take advantage of the health center’s services, she said. Health insurance is not a requirement to be treated at the center, Athey said.
Malinda Keck, principal at Falcon Elementary, said the health center is a welcome addition.
"We sent out a survey to our parents to see if they thought there was a need for this, and it was an overwhelming yes,” Keck said.
"I've been working with Peak Vista since the beginning of the last school year, when the process got started in May 2011. They have been wonderful to work with and have included us in every step of the way. We're excited to have the health center here because it's a win-win for our community and for our kids."
Existing space at Falcon Elementary was renovated to accommodate the needs of a clinical setting, Hylton said. “We put in three exam rooms, a reception area and storage space,” he said. “We provide the clinical care, but the clinic is their (D 49) clinic, and we’re happy and grateful to be working with them.”
The health center will host an open house Aug. 16, from 5 to 6 p.m., with a half-hour presentation following (light refreshments will be served). “At the open house, the clinic will actually be open,” Athey said.
Although the health center is located within Falcon Elementary, it will have a separate entrance, Athey said. The hours of operation are Tuesday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
“There is a possibility that the health center will be open more days in the future as more people become aware of it and utilize it,” Hylton said.
The health center’s phone number is 495-5284.