DENVER (KDVR) — Denver Health and Denver Public Schools celebrated the opening of their newest school-based health center at George Washington High School on Tuesday.
Donors got a tour of the new facility that just recently opened.
The clinic offers primary care and mental health services to students at no cost to their families. Supporters say the location in the school limits the amount of time parents have to take off from work, and it limits the amount of time that kids have to miss class.
Denver Health Pediatrics at Denver Public Schools operates 19 primary care clinics in school buildings, providing care for about 20% of DPS teens
“We take care of over 12 thousand DPS students in this setting,” said Dr. Steve Federico, the director of general pediatrics at Denver Health.
He said these clinics fill a tremendous gap for students who have a hard time accessing health care in other settings.
“We are your doctor’s office. We can see kids when they are sick, do tests for strep throat, do COVID tests if we are concerned about COVID, prescribe basic medications, antibiotics, creams, inhalers for kids that need them right here on site,” Federico said.
“It’s just so nice and convenient just to have it in the school,” said Kelly Peterson, a senior at GWHS.
Peterson said she’s used the clinic for multiple issues, including mental health services.
“I actually enjoy going to school knowing that I have support here to fall back on,” Peterson said.
GWHS is one of the last Denver high schools to get a clinic. It was paid for with district funding along with a lot of alumni and donor support.
Dr. Kristin Waters, the principal, pushed to get a clinic at the school and said she is grateful to everyone who made it happen.
“We are very appreciative,” Waters said.