The new, full-service Teen Health Center at Moody Early Childhood Center, 1110 21st St., in Galveston, is a win-win for children and families.
The Teen Health Center, originally established in 1985 on the campus of Ball High School, offers free physical and mental health care for children enrolled at Moody Early Childhood Center, as well as to the center’s employees and their families.
Services such as free vaccinations, lab tests, hearing and vision screenings, physicals, and more will be available at the center, Ball High School, Collegiate Academy at Weis, and Austin and Central middle schools in Galveston.
And, although services are no longer available at schools in the Texas City Independent School District, organizers of Teen Health are putting together a list of resources, such as low-cost health care providers on the mainland, for families and school district staff no longer served by Teen Health Centers, said Angie Brown, executive director of Teen Health Center Inc, recently told The Daily News.
We all know how important it is to have access to quality, affordable health care. It’s a necessity. As health care costs continue to soar across the country, parents shouldn’t be burdened with what to do if their children become sick or have an injury of some sort that could possibly keep them from attending school and the parent having to miss work to go to an appointment.
This is where services at the Teen Health Center at Moody Early Childhood comes in handy. Sick or injured children with a consent form on file won’t have to have a parent present to be seen. Classroom aids and teaching assistants are available to accompany children to either the nurse’s office or the clinic depending on the severity of illness or injury.
On its other campuses, services for anyone on Galveston Island, 21 and younger are free. And, employees and family members ages 22 and older, who are associated with the daycare or preschool at the center, can receive services at the clinic for a flat $25 fee. No insurance is required.
With the help of funding from philanthropic, private foundations, the Teen Health Center is able to operate in the growing arena of school-based health centers around the country, most of which are offshoots of major medical centers or large institutions, requiring a more bureaucratic structure, Brown said.
How ideal is this? Yes, there’s no one way to figure out the maze of affordable health care and all that comes with it, but this is a step in the right direction working toward keeping island youth and families healthy.
• Angela Wilson