Community Healthcare Center seeks school-based clinic at Zundy Elementary

WICHITA FALLS - The area including and surrounding Zundy Elementary is one step closer to more access to affordable healthcare options. It's all part of a new partnership between Wichita Falls ISD and the Community Healthcare Center. 

The item was discussed at Tuesday's special session of the WFISD Board of Trustees meeting and officials with the center say they've received so much support for the possibility of a school-based clinic. If ultimately approved, they say it's conveniently placed for a community that could really see the benefits.

"About a year ago, two of our leadership staff went to a meeting at the Zundy campus and heard from teachers and administrators some of the health needs of the children there were heartbreaking," CHC's chief finance and operations officer Kristi McCasland said.

It was then, she says, they felt Zundy was the place where they could best serve students, parents and the surrounding community.

"So we worked with the school district and determined that Zundy Elementary will be a great place for a school-based clinic and it really just grew from there," McCasland said.

"They're going to take a half acre or so of land and we going to put a clinic there, which will serve the community," superintendent Michael Kuhrt said. "In other words, it's just a regular community clinic for anybody to use but specifically for us, staff members and students."

Kuhrt says Zundy not only has the space for a 3500 square-foot clinic next door but officials feel the area is underserved for medical services. 

"Students coming to school sick is a problem and that happens pretty regularly for us," Kuhrt said. "Even though you wish it wouldn't but it's just part of it. and a lot of times it's just a little cold and then it leads to something else."

McCasland says over half a million dollars has been raised so far to fund the project, which would be located in a modular building and include a mid-level medical provider and even a licensed social worker on site.

The school's actually not going to put in any funding," McCasland said. "What they're doing though, is they're allowing us to put this site on their property. So that's a huge plus."

The district will vote on the partnership at their upcoming board meeting Monday night. If approved, the clinic could be up and running as early as the end of this school year.

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