After identifying a need at our schools for more convenient access to health care for our students, YES Prep partnered with Legacy Community Health (Legacy) to offer school-based health services beginning in the fall of 2015.
YES Prep’s school staff includes a certified medical assistant (CMA) who addresses health-related issues such as stomach aches and knee scrapes. We were finding that when we contacted families for issues needing a visit to a doctor or access to a counselor for mental health support, many of our families lacked the health insurance to address their child’s medical or mental health needs, and many also faced having to take time off from work and school to access care. This is when conversations with Legacy began regarding a partnership.
The partnership with Legacy began with social workers visiting schools to offer mental health support. Our Gulfton and Southside schools were the first to have school spaces retrofitted to house school-based clinics where a Legacy nurse practitioner could provide medical care as well. As the partnership has grown to clinics in 17 YES Prep secondary schools, so have the services offered, which now include psychiatry, counseling, and most recently COVID-19 testing and ad hoc COVID-19 vaccine clinics.
In 2020, the partnership reached a new milestone when YES Prep branched into elementary schools.
During the elementary school years, it is typical for children to experience many medical “firsts” such as allergic reactions. For this reason, all four of our elementary schools have nurses and we have Legacy clinics at our North Central and Southeast elementary schools, while students at our other elementary campuses have access to our secondary school clinics. Next school year, there will be full-time advanced practice providers (medical providers similar to physicians) at Southside Elementary and North Forest Elementary.
Legacy at our schools
While not all our schools currently have a Legacy clinic, ALL our students under 21 years of age and their siblings under age 19 (no matter if they attend YES Prep or not) – and the children of YES Prep staff have access to the Legacy clinics and the services offered.
Thanks to this partnership, our students, their siblings and staff children have access to highly trained, responsive medical professionals and an extensive list of affordable health care services. Legacy also provides assessments and treatments for a variety of health and wellness needs during regular school hours, which is convenient to families.
When a secondary school CMA or an elementary nurse calls a parent or guardian to inform them of a child’s ailment, they are also given the opportunity to be referred to Legacy for care. Likewise, once the child has been enrolled with Legacy, families are able to schedule checkups and appointments during school hours, and the student will be attended to during the school day. Additionally, all YES Prep students are able to be referred to Legacy psychiatric or counseling services.
As of February 2022, we have 17 Legacy clinics at our campuses (13 at secondary schools and 4 two at elementary schools). YES Prep students have access to both pediatric services and behavioral health services.
Pediatric services: Asthma, old & common flu, ear infections, health education, minor injuries, skin problems, sore throat, sports physicals, upset stomach and weight management
Behavioral Health Services: Anxiety, behavioral & attentional difficulties, depression, family conflicts, grief, and trauma
Since the start of the pandemic, Legacy has also helped combat COVID-19 by offering COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.
As YES Prep expands, we look forward to growing our partnership. We are currently looking into having Legacy at our next two schools: Airline and East End elementary schools.
About Legacy Community Health
Legacy Community Health is a full-service health care system comprised of over 50 locations in the Texas Gulf Coast region offering primary and specialty care, as well as pharmacy services. For over 40 years, Legacy has been innovating the ways we provide comprehensive, quality health care services to underserved communities. As the largest Federally Qualiﬁed Health Center (FQHC) in Texas and a United Way affiliated agency since 1990, Legacy ensures its services and programs are open to all, regardless of the ability to pay—without judgment or exception. To learn more, visit legacycommunityhealth.org.