Ypsilanti High School health clinic awarded $392K for renovations
More Ypsilanti High School students soon will have access to physical and mental health care services after the school-based health center received a $392,000 grant for renovations.
AnnArbor.com file photo
Ypsilanti High School is home to one of six school-based health centers in Washtenaw County, part of the University of Michigan’s network of Regional Alliance for Health Schools
The other five are at A2 Tech High, Scarlett Middle School, Lincoln High School, Willow Run High School and Ypsilanti Middle School.
RAHS provides a full-service medical clinic as well as support for substance use and abuse, childhood obesity and asthma.
RAHS is staffed by University of Michigan Health System nurse practitioners, physicians, social workers, dietitians, medical assistants and other support staff.
RAHS Operations Manager Angie Spence said the Ypsilanti High School location is staffed by one doctor, one nurse, a registered dietician and one clinical social worker. The clinic has been open for about two years.
The $392,00 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration will be used to convert a computer classroom and storage area into a full-service area. In the past, the clinic used a small room that was curtained off with cubical dividers.
Lindsay McCarthy, marketing and events coordinator for UMHS, said the new space will be more than 1,400 square feet. The space will include two exam rooms, a dietitian office and counseling room, an activity and large counseling group room and a lab and consultation room.
Construction is set to begin during the summer and McCarthy said work should be completed before school begins in fall 2013.
How the consolidation of the Ypsilanti Public Schools and Willow Run Community Schools may affect the project is not entirely clear.
Ypsilanti Public Schools Superintendent Dedrick Martin wrote in an email to AnnArbor.com that with the pending merger of the two districts, all contracts, grants, and agreements "must be revisited."
"It will be some time before we have knowledge of which facilities will be used and for what purposes," Martin wrote. "We are also seeking additional information for clarity regarding the grant considering the unique situation of the merger."
McCarthy said currently 250 students utilize the services at YHS and she expects that number to increase. Since its opening, the number of students going to the clinic has just about doubled.
In total, more than 2,000 youths in Washtenaw County utilize the six clinics.
"We have seen significant growth at Lincoln," McCarthy said.
Previously, only one patient could be seen at a time due to HIPPA laws and regulations.
"You cannot have patients overhear other medical discussions," McCarthy said. "When they redo the space, they'll have separate rooms that they can close off so they can see more than one student at a time."
The renovations and expansion will increase the number of simultaneous appointments from one to three, tripling capacity upon completion, according to McCarthy. The renovations also will allow the clinic to have during and after school social workers.
"The demand is there," McCarthy said. " They're just not able to given the space because they can't see them all at once. ... The most important thing about us being able to expand is not only the space so we accommodate more students, I just think that it means the world to students and their families."