They have long been known for their reproductive focus on preventing teen pregnancy and sexually-transmitted disease, and helping teen parents should they become pregnant.
The newest clinic officially opened this week in southeast Houston, at the Raul Yzaguirre School for Success.
It’s a charter school that serves a low-income neighborhood, with a high number of uninsured families.
Anthony Magdaleno is chairman of the charter school’s board.
“I think this is fantastic, I think this is great. I think it’s going to grow.”
This clinic offers far more than the typical school nurse. It will provide a broad menu of reproductive and primary care benefits for teens who have no doctor of their own.
Services will include sports physicals, a pharmacy, and some mental health care.
Magdaleno says students who are sick can’t learn and are more likely to drop out.
“A child who is sitting in a classroom who is feeling sick or is ill is not going to be concentrating on learning. So in that sense, this clinic is a godsend.”
Dr. Peggy Smith is director of the Baylor teen clinics. She said the school-based clinics often help more than just the teenagers.
“We’re planning on reaching out to the family members of this community so if there’s a younger brother or younger sister, we can also be sure they have their immunizations. That’s one of the most important things, and you’d be surprised how many kids — they may have started their immunizations but they haven’t completed them.”
The clinic will operate two days a week during school hours, and services will be free or very low cost.