MetroHealth adding more clinics at CMSD schools

Glenville High School in November 2020

Glenville High School, located just south of St. Clair Avenue at East 113th Street, will be one of four Cleveland school buildings that will gain a new community clinic as a result of MetroHealth System’s School Health Program (Google). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM

Four schools gaining community health clinics

A mix of federal and state funds along with a partnership of MetroHealth System and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) have come together to spur construction of additional health clinics at four Cleveland school sites to increase basic health care services to young people. A wide variety of health care services will be available at these clinics, including treatment of illnesses, mental health, sports injuries and even dental care.

The four Cleveland schools that will see investment and gain services from MetroHealth’s School Health Program are: Glenville High School, 650 E. 113 St.; Clara E Westropp Elementary School, 19101 Puritas Ave.; Mound Elementary School, 5934 Ackley Rd.; and Garfield Elementary School, 3800 W. 140th St. Construction permit applications were submitted to the city in recent weeks for all four of these locations, according to the Cleveland Building Department’s web portal.

The largest investment will be made at Glenville High School. There, $700,000 is programmed to “combine multiple classrooms and teachers lounge and create a self-contained community clinic having a waiting/reception area, intake/triage (area), exam rooms, staff work and break rooms,” according to a permit application. The size of this clinic will be about 1,800 square feet.

The next largest will be at Westropp Elementary School where an existing school clinic will be transformed into a new MetroHealth community clinic. Size of the clinic is proposed to be about 1,280 square feet to accommodate up to about 25 people — a mix of clinic staff and patients. The cost of construction work is estimated at approximately $350,000, city records show.

Clinics at Mound and Garfield elementary schools are both expected to see renovations of about $150,000 each. At Mound, a special education classroom measuring about 550 square feet will be converted into a community clinic. At Garfield, an existing distance-learning lab classroom will be divided into a new, 310-square-foot administrative office for five people and a classroom.

CMSD's Westropp Elementary School.

Clara L Westropp Elementary School on Puritas Road in Cleveland’s Kamm’s Corners/West Park neighborhood will gain a MetroHealth community clinic (Google).

Ubiquitous Design, LTD of Shaker Heights is the architect of record for all four community clinic locations. Renovations will also be made at other CMSD community clinics and at the Cleveland Heights-University Heights High School clinic. With these improvements, MetroHealth will be adding oral health and dental care at designated CMSD school clinics as well as piloting new telehealth services, both in primary care and mental health, expanding care coordination and case management via Community Health Workers and providing support to additional existing school health partners.

Mike Tobin, vice president of communications, government and community relations at MetroHealth, said these investments are the result of new funding to MetroHealth’s School Health Program. It was the largest single recipient among $25.9 million awarded for 136 new or expanded School-Based Health Centers throughout Ohio. Specifically, MetroHealth received nearly $4.5 million earlier this year from the state.

Funding was made available through President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Additional funds are being made available through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief fund. Management of construction and capital expenses will be coordinated in partnership with the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Health, according to a written statement.

The School Health Program currently serves 13 CMSD schools, the entire Cleveland Heights – University Heights School District, and additional school health partners. The funding awarded earlier this year will cover 15 months of operating costs and support MetroHealth’s programs in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) and Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District.

Cleveland Heights-University Heights High School in July 2022.

The MetroHealth community clinic at Cleveland Heights-University Heights High School on Cedar Road is due to see renovations from federal and state funding awarded to the countywide health system’s School Health Program (Google).

MetroHealth’s School Health Program will review the opportunity to increase the hours and days of operation for school health clinics in both the CMSD and the Cleveland Heights – University Heights School District, as well potentially expanding services to include school staff and students’ families, said Katie Davis, director at the Center for Health Outreach, Access & Prevention at MetroHealth’s Institute for H.O.P.E.

“We’re looking at our overall mission of increasing access to health care with our partners so we can advocate and support the health and well-being of our youth,” Davis said. “We’re happy to have this support from the state. We’ve always known school-based health centers have great success for both health and educational outcomes. This opportunity allows us to grow and to expand our services to better serve our students, families, and school partners.”

The School Health Program, part of the Institute for H.O.P.E., was developed to make sure all children get the health care they need, including children who may not have access to a health care provider. It brings the power of MetroHealth to a very convenient place: a child’s school.

“Studies have shown that health and wellness are interconnected,” Gov. Mike DeWine said in a press release. “A student who is not healthy or who is chronically absent is not able to achieve their full potential. These partnerships between healthcare providers and schools supports the whole child and ensures that every child may realize their full potential.”

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