Health clinic opens at UFT Community Learning School in Manhattan

The ribbon is cut on the new clinic.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the opening of a new school-based health clinic on May 10 at the Community Health Academy of the Heights, one of the UFT’s 28 Community Learning Schools. Parents will now be able to sign their children up at the start of school for yearlong free primary care built around their school schedule. The goal is to improve student health without draining time from school with outside doctor appointments. “It’s a nurse’s office on steroids,” said Dr. Matthew Weissman, the chief medical officer for Community Healthcare Network, which operates the clinic. “If somebody is sick and we’re not sure if they have strep throat, we can test them, treat them, write prescriptions and call their parents.” Principal Mark House said the clinic, housed on the school’s 5th floor, is already reducing absenteeism among CHAH students who suffer from asthma and diabetes. Concerned about her son’s mild asthma and food allergies, CHAH parent Judith Insell said, “It’s comforting to know that there will be comprehensive medical support on site at his school if he needs it.” Christine Schuch, the executive director of the UFT’s Community Learning Schools, said the clinic, complete with examining room and lab facilities, will offer a safe and comfortable place for adolescents to bring their medical questions and concerns. Yvonne Stennett, the director of Community League of the Heights, the school’s nonprofit partner, said the clinic “gives students more access to health care and helps them learn to take responsibility for their own health care.”