Dedicated to Almatha Clark Taylor
By Allan Jamail
Cloverleaf, TX. – Thursday, September 8, 2022 @ 10 am, GPISD had a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony for their fourth school-based Legacy Health Clinic. The clinic is located at 13940 Bonham Street, just 125 feet from the Cloverleaf Elementary School.
The event was well attended due to the exceptional effort of the Communications Department under the direction of Sherrhonda Hunter, Executive Director for School and Community Relations GPISD Opens 4th School-based Health Clinic Dedicated to Almatha Clark Taylor and Cathy Ethridge, Foundation and Special Events Coordinator.
Dr. Mechelle Epps, Assistant Superintendent for Student Support Services was the Master of Ceremonies. She introduced school officials, elected officials and Legacy Administration officials.
Dr. Epps recognized Almatha Taylor, her husband Johnnie of 59 years and others of the Clark- Taylor family.
Dr. Epps stated the clinic bears the name of Mrs. Almatha Taylor, a former GPISD Board of Trustees member from 1989-1998 because Mrs.Taylor was passionate and determined to bring a medical program to this area. Before her retirement she was instrumental in securing a partnership between the district and the Harris Health System’s Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) health care program.
ACT officially opened here in 2009, it served as the health provider for students from 1998 – 2020 until they were forced to repurpose staff due to the pandemic, thereby closing the doors.
Dr. Epps said, “How proud we are to reopen this clinic two years later with Legacy Community Health. Legacy is the largest Federally Qualified Health Clinic program in Texas. They’re committed to providing access to affordable, high quality health care for children. This is our fourth Legacy Clinic and in 2020 we were the first public school district in Texas to have a school-based Legacy Clinic.”
Superintendent Dr. John Moore welcomed everyone, introduced trustees and said how thankful he was for everyone in attendance. He recognized former superintendent Dr. Angi Williams and said, “Having health clinics readily available for students located inside the district’s schools was actually a vision of Dr. Angi Williams, I’m proud to help make her vision a reality.”
Dr. Moore said, “We are also excited to report the Texas Education Agency announced Galena Park ISD earned an A! Congratulations to our students, teachers, administrators, and support team on a job well done! Each school earned an “A” or “B” rating, the two highest ratings!”
Legacy officials spoke and said they were glad to work with the District to achieve school-based health clinics inside their schools. They explained how parents can get their children pediatric, behavioral and psychiatry services. (See contact info. below)
Ms. Roma Samir Bhatt, Legacy’s Licensed Professional Counselor introduced Michelle Martinez and her son Holland Felton (see photo) to illustrate how beneficial Legacy’s health services has been to them.
Ms. Martinez said, “My son Holland has used over the years the Legacy clinic at Green Valley three times, it was helpful to get him treated at the school without my having to take off work and take him to a doctor.” Holland said, “It was good for me to be able to stay in school to be examined and treated and return to classes.”
Constant absenteeism affects millions of students nationwide. Missing a day here or there may not seem like a problem, don’t underestimate the harm of these school absences. Missed school days can have a big impact on a child’s learning and overall health.
Children who are regularly absent in kindergarten and first grade are less likely to read on grade level by the third grade. For older students, being chronically absent is strongly associated with failing at school – even more than low grades or test scores. When absences add up, these students are more likely to be suspended and drop out of high school. Absenteeism is also linked with teen substance use, as well as poor health as adults.
That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages parents to reduce unnecessary absences and prioritize getting their kids to school on time, every day.
THE LEGACY MOTTO: TO LEARN WELL, YOU MUST BE WELL.
Call (281) 628-2050 to make an appointment or visit: www.legacycommunityhealth.org/SBHC. Llame at (281) 628-2050 para hacer una cita o visite: www.legacycommunityhealth.org/SBHC.