Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine
The Baylor RYSS Primary Academy Clinic is the result of a collaborative effort by the Baylor College of Medicine and Tejano Center for Community Concerns. The partnership seeks to expand access to comprehensive health care for the unserved and underserved children and adults who reside in the East End’s Park Place neighborhoods. It intends to open the doors to a second health care facility that will be located on the campus of the Raul Yzaguirre School for Success.
Students perform better when they show up for class, healthy and ready to learn. The Baylor Primary Academy clinic will bring the doctor’s office to the school so students avoid health related absences and get support to succeed in the classroom. Undiagnosed and untreated illnesses endemic to poverty households are an impediment to a child’s ability to think and to learn. The proposed campus based project will provide comprehensive preventive and primary health care services to students and their parents and strive to meet the community's needs by:
- Providing services to all students with a focus on the uninsured and underserved;
- engaging community representatives, parents, youth, and family organizations to participate in the planning of the clinic services based on local needs;
- developing linkages with a health center and/or other providers to accept referrals for complex health problems and to provide services to patients during hours when the clinic is not open; and
- working cooperatively with the school nurse, coaches, counselors, teachers, and the school principal to assure that the clinic is an integral part of the life of the school.
Currently, the Baylor College of Medicine Teen Health Clinic (BTHC) provides health care and education to students ages 13-23 who are enrolled in the RYSS middle and high school
Programs. During their inaugural year, the BTHC provided 940 clinic visits to 266 enrolled students, meeting a tremendous need for primary care services for the school’s adolescent population. Given the dearth of accessible and affordable health care options in the East End area, expansion of these services to the younger students will promote greater health and wellness for the entire RYSS community. The Baylor Primary Academy clinic will provide a comprehensive range of services that specifically meet the serious health problems of young people in addition to providing general medical pediatric care. The proposed expansion aims to increase access to health care for children in grades K-5 by providing evidence-based acute, chronic and preventive health care services under the principles of the medical home model. The Clinic will provide the following services: (1.) School and athletic physicals; (2.) Well child examinations; (3.) Primary care services including the treatment of minor and acute illnesses and injuries; (4.) Preventive services such as obesity screening and counseling, vision screening; (5.) hemoglobin and hematocrit screening and immunizations; (6.) Referral and follow-up for specialty care; (7.) Psychosocial/Behavioral assessments and culturally appropriate counseling services; and (8.) Health education presentations to parents, faculty and staff of the primary academy regarding health related issues.
The site for the BCM Primary Academy Clinic has been identified and made ready. It is a former residence that is located at 2927 Dover Street, Houston 77017. The future clinic will be on the RYSS campus, situated perfectly, right behind the Primary Academy buildings and creating an optimum environment to maximize confidentiality and ease of access. The BCM Department of Family and Community Medicine (DCFM) will staff the Primary Academy Clinic two, half days per week during its initial start-up, with additional sessions expected as the number of students enrolled in services increases. A multidisciplinary team of health care providers will be needed to ensure holistic care and to minimize the need for outside referrals. Initially, this team will be comprised of a Physician/Medical Director, Medical Assistant, and Social Worker/Assistant Director, and Physician Assistant.
The DFCM at Baylor College of Medicine is committed to ensuring the longevity and success of the RYSS Primary Academy clinic. To that end, it plans to undertake a number of initiatives to promote its economic sustainability. Its healthcare providers are credentialed to receive third party reimbursement (Medicaid and other) for covered services, including medical, preventive, and behavioral health. Baylor College of Medicine recognizes the tremendous need that exists in this community and is mindful of the inherent challenges of providing care to persons who are disenfranchised and living in poverty. Therefore, under the leadership of the Chair of the Department, Dr. Roger Zoorob, Dr. de Grubb and Ms. Gonzalez will actively engage a resource and fund development initiative aimed at addressing the needs of the students, families, and community as a whole. Dr. Zoorob and his team have a strong track record as responsible stewards of state and federal funds.
Moreover, Baylor's cash support for personnel costs allows the project more than sufficient time to build the infrastructure and to identify opportunities to diversify funding streams, including fundraising to individuals, businesses, and private foundations whose missions align with those of the RYSS Primary Academy clinics and its constituency. The support of the Tejano Center for Community Concerns in providing the clinic space and any additional renovations will be an asset as we lay the foundation for this comprehensive health model.
In summary, sustainability of clinic operations after initial funding will include, but will not limited to, the following clinical and nonclinical sources: Texas Children's Health Plan (CHIP) Fee for Service; Texas Health Steps - Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT); Behavioral Health and Drug Abuse Services; State and Federal Grants; Private Foundation funding; Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program; Baylor College of Medicine; and Tejano Center for Community Concerns.