Cherry Creek School District opens clinics for students who need health care

2 health centers at schools will also provide care to families

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Of the roughly 55,000 students in the Cherry Creek School District, about 14,000 have health care coverage under Medicaid or Child Health Plan Plus, a public low-cost health insurance program.

Just under 3,000 students in Cherry Creek don’t have health insurance at all, according to the school district.

Amid that need for health care, the school district and a metro Denver nonprofit opened two health centers to provide “quality, equitable care” to students and families from across the district, according to a news release.

The health centers opened in early March on one site at the Prairie Middle School campus in west Aurora and at another at Horizon Community Middle School. That’s in southeast Aurora near east Centennial, a few blocks from Quincy Avenue and Reservoir Road.

The new facilities “will allow our families to access the resources they need with dignity,” Cherry Creek school board member Janice McDonald said at one of the ceremonies to celebrate the centers’ opening, according to the news release.

The school district and STRIDE Community Health, a nonprofit health-care provider with locations around the Denver metro area, partnered to open the health centers.

“At STRIDE, we don’t accept the current reality of too many students going without care,” the nonprofit’s president, Ben Wiederholt, said during one of the ceremonies, according to the release.

The new facilities will offer the Cherry Creek community primary-care clinics that can provide a variety of age-appropriate services, including mental health care, dental care, vision care and referrals, nutritional counseling, health education, acute care, and other services, according to the release.

Acute care applies to illness or injury that occur suddenly, according to Abbe Smith, spokesperson for the school district.

For example, acute conditions could include complaints of fever or chills, worsening of asthma symptoms, waking up sick, or cuts or sprains.

In terms of mental health care, the new health centers will offer general therapy visits but not psychiatry, according to Smith.

The health centers also offer “high-quality family practice care and pediatric care, including immunizations,” Smith said.

The centers each feature five exam rooms, along with labs that provide tests that measure glucose levels, electrolyte and fluid balance, kidney function, and liver function.

The two centers offer health care to both students and families, according to the news release.

Hours for the health centers are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, closed from noon to 12:45 p.m. for lunch.

Appointments are required, but the centers offer same-day availability. Call the district’s Health Services staff at 720-554-4274 for more information.

In partnering with the school district, STRIDE will provide medical staff, supplies, health education, and counseling for students and families, the school district previously said.

The school district kicked off building the health centers during ground-breaking ceremonies in late August.

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