LAKELAND, Fla. — Julber Urbina's mother arrived to Polk County from Venezuela four months ago.
- Effort to convert school into community partnership school
- Clinic is open on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for now
- School is located on Galvin Drive in Lakeland
- More Polk County headlines
He brought her to the new Central Florida Health Care clinic at Crystal Lake Elementary School because he heard it was a low cost clinic.
The newly opened clinic is part of the initiative to convert the school into the district's first community partnership school, which is planned to be a hub for education, healthcare and social needs for students, parents and members of the community.
"It's based on your income. So she’s not working right now, so it's kind of helpful for her since she doesn’t have insurance," said Urbina, adding that his mother has always been the type to go to the doctor and it’s been hard for her since she moved to the United States.
Urbina was happy to see some of the staff was bilingual.
The clinic has four exam rooms and is available to students at Crystal Lake Elementary and anyone else in the community. (Stephanie Claytor/Spectrum News)
"Now that the Spanish community is growing, it's good for them to feel comfortable,” Urbina said.
The clinic is open on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for now and will have an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse on staff each day. It has four exam rooms and is available to students at Crystal Lake Elementary and anyone else in the community.
The school's principal hopes that by having the clinic on campus, the title one school's attendance rate will improve.
"Sometimes the children come to school ill and the parents aren't able to pick them up or take them to the doctor, and if they have that signed consent here at clinic, we'll be able to see them immediately here,” said Kristan Fowler, the school’s principal.
Students toured the facility Thursday.
"It's really awesome and amazing and it's really kid friendly," said fourth-grader Vanessa Coleman after checking out the exam rooms.
The staff hopes the students will go home and tell their parents about it and encourage them to visit.
"We'll be adding dental services. We'll be adding behavioral health services at this location and we also have a teaching kitchen so we'll be able to add nutrition classes for the children," said Ann Claussen, CEO of Central Florida Health Care Inc.
Claussen said their federally qualified health centers see a lot of Medicaid and Medicare patients and allow the uninsured to pay on a sliding fee scale based on their income.