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Posted July 29, 2013

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UNM, APS to Open Health Clinic at Atrisco Heritage Academy High School

Health Center opens today for students

The new clinic at Atrisco Heritage is open to students, and will open to the community in September.

The University of New Mexico Hospital and Albuquerque Public Schools today open the Atrisco Heritage Center for Family and Community Health at Atrisco Heritage Academy High School, 10800 Dennis Chavez Blvd. SW.

Offering the services of both a school-based health center and a community health center, the facility at Atrisco Heritage will add community services in September.

“We are proud to be joining with our UNM partners to offer health care to not only the 2,400 students at Atrisco Heritage Academy High School, but also their families and the surrounding community,” said APS Superintendent Winston Brooks.

“We know the facility will provide a needed benefit for not only the students, but the community as a whole,” Brooks added, noting that more than 70 percent of students who attend Atrisco Heritage are eligible for Medicaid and that the current school nurse serves up to 50 students per day.

"UNM Hospital is proud to partner with APS on improving health care access in our schools and communities," said Dr. Paul Roth, UNM Chancellor for Health Sciences and dean of the UNM School of Medicine.  "School and community health centers like this help address a critical shortage of primary and preventive healthcare services that are so important to reducing health disparities, to educating young people on health issues and to improving the overall health of our communities."

The 3,600-square-foot clinic, which was funded in part by a $500,000, federal Health Resources and Services Administration grant, will be operated by UNM Hospitals, which provided additional monies for equipping the facility. The clinic, offers primary health care services for students, staff, families and local community members, has eight exam rooms, a consultation room, a lab, and a conference room that can be used to provide health promotion classes.

The center will be open during school hours, with extended hours offering early morning and evening appointments.

Dr. Mary Kay Anderson, associate professor of nursing at UNM said, "The UNM College of Nursing and the School of Medicine are collaborating with UNMH, APS and the Atrisco community to design and deliver broad-based health care for the students and community. We look forward to working with community partners to improve community health."

The Atrisco Heritage Center for Family and Community Health also will offer specialty care as needed by patients. It is estimated that the clinic will serve some 800 students and 1,500 community members in its first year.

“Working with UNM, the center will have the capacity to address a full range of school and community health concerns that will extend well beyond the walls of the typical school-based health center,” said APS Board of Education member Dr. Analee Maestas, whose district includes Atrisco Heritage. “Students will have easy access and community members will be able to get to the clinic without interfering with school operations or security.”

Students enrolled in the health academy at the school will be involved in program planning and get the opportunity to have hands-on experience in health-related careers.

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