30 Aug Jonathan Cartu Announces: Thompson School District, Sunrise Community Health to open
A community health center for Thompson School District students is set to open its doors — and treatment opportunities — this October.
The Sunrise Thompson Health Clinic will be located on school district property at 2880 N. Monroe Ave., just behind both Conrad Ball Middle School and Mary Blair Elementary School. It will be open before, after and during school for any students in need of primary health, dental and behavioral health care.
Both the Thompson School District and Sunrise Community Health share a goal of wanting to make sure that all children within the district can receive the health care they need. Healthy children do better in school, do not miss as much school and can learn without the barrier of aches, pains and illnesses.
“Research has shown that school-based health centers help students graduate,” said Barb Hartman, the Thompson School District nurse. “It helps with discipline. It helps with tardiness. The outcomes are better when they have access to health care.”
Many students within the district do not have that needed access to health care for various reasons, according to Hartman and Charlie Carter, executive director of student support services. Their families may not have insurance. Maybe they cannot afford the costs. Perhaps they do not have transportation or the needed time away from work to make it to a doctor’s appointment.
This clinic will help remove some of those barriers, Carter and Hartman said.
Sunrise Community Health has 10 clinics in Greeley, Evans and Loveland, which last year served 42,000 patients who might not otherwise have access to health care. They bill insurance and provide services at a sliding scale for those who do not have insurance.
The Thompson School District educates 15,500 students across 30 schools in and around Loveland and Berthoud.
They are partnering together on the Sunrise Thompson Health Clinic with the district providing the space and the community health center providing the medical care.
“Our mission is affordable access to quality care for all,” said Mitzi Moran, chief executive officer of Sunrise Community Health. “Our purpose is to make sure that everyone regardless of insurance status has access to good health care. We are continually looking for ways to partner to achieve that mission, and a school-based health center is a good way to do that.”
The school district is spending $400,000 on a modular building that will house the clinic, setting up a centralized location that will reach students at multiple schools in Loveland.
That money is out of a fund created by payments from developers based on the size and make-up of their new development; developers can either dedicate land to the district or make a payment in lieu of that land.
The clinic will have five treatment rooms, offering health, dental and behavioral health care.
Sunrise Community Health will provide a treatment professional and support staff to care for the students, working with SummitStone Health Partners for the behavioral health piece. They operate with grants, with insurance reimbursements and with the sliding scale fees that families pay.
Of the 10 clinics that Sunrise operated last year, two are based in schools in the Greeley Evans School District. The one that is the closest in size to the clinic to open in Thompson treats about 1,000 to 1,500 students per year, which officials say has truly made a difference in students’ education.
“A healthy kid performs better in school,” Moran said. “It makes the care convenient and timely and right on site. That helps kids feel better. Healthy kids perform better in school … It’s such a good partnership.”