Cherry Creek district adding 2 health centers at schools

New facilities to offer services such as mental health, dental, vision care

Ellis Arnold
earnold@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 9/20/21

The Cherry Creek School District recently kicked off building two school-based health centers that are slated to open to district students and families in January, according to a news release. The …

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Cherry Creek district adding 2 health centers at schools

New facilities to offer services such as mental health, dental, vision care

Posted

The Cherry Creek School District recently kicked off building two school-based health centers that are slated to open to district students and families in January, according to a news release.

The two health centers will be located on the campus of Overland High School and Prairie Middle School in west Aurora, and at Horizon Community Middle School in southeast Aurora near east Centennial.

The facilities “will offer CCSD students, parents and families more comprehensive, equitable and meaningful health care options,” the district said in the news release.

The new facilities will operate as part of a partnership with STRIDE Community Health Center, a nonprofit health-care provider with locations around the Denver metro area.

During two groundbreaking ceremonies on Aug. 30 and Aug. 31, leaders from both communities spoke about the resources the facilities will provide.

“This is about bringing affordable, accessible health care to all individuals. At STRIDE, we're committed to ensuring that everyone is cared for and cared about. These centers will make that vision a reality,” STRIDE President Ben Widerholt said during a ceremony, according to the release.

The new facilities will offer the Cherry Creek district community primary-care clinics that can provide a variety of age-appropriate services, including mental and behavioral care, dental care, vision care and referrals, nutritional counseling, health education, acute care with providers and other services, according to the release.

Cherry Creek district students and families, as well as members of the community, will be able to access the health center services through appointments.

The facilities “will have providers available for medical, dental, and behavioral health care. Insurance outreach and care coordination (will also be) provided to help families in need,” said Heather Tinley, a spokesperson for the school district.

In partnering with the school district, STRIDE will provide medical staff, supplies, health education, and counseling for students and families. The school district will provide architectural and design implementation, health education, marketing support, and tech and health services support, according to the release.

“CCSD nurses have ongoing, trusting relationships with students and families. Students frequently visit the nurse before seeking additional care,” Tinley said. “We are in an excellent position to ensure families know they have options for emerging needs or preventative care even if they do not have a current (health care) provider.”

STRIDE and Cherry Creek have worked together before: In 2018, the district partnered with the organization to provide immunizations, well-child and flu shot clinics at sites across the district, according to the news release. STRIDE has also played a “key role” in the district's response to the COVID-19 pandemic — the nonprofit has worked with the district to provide COVID testing and vaccines, the release added.

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