In January, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School and Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers partnered together to open a new in-school clinic at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School.
Cristo Rey Jesuit partners with Milwaukee companies of all sizes and industries to provide meaningful work for Jesuit students through the Corporate Work Study Program; so that by the time students graduate, each will have completed 1,250 hours of professional work experience.
Cristo Rey Jesuit President Andrew Stith said because of the ultimate goal of caring for the student beyond the classroom, it’s always been the school’s hope they would be able to offer an in-school medical resource for their students, staff and families. In their former facility on 45th Street, they didn’t have space but they kept the hope in mind. When they built their new school building at 1818 National Ave., they had wellness for staff, students and their families at the forefront of their plans.
Sixteenth Street Community Health Center is within walking distance of Cristo Rey’s new campus and was an easy choice for the school to partner with, as it already had a 50- year presence in the community, and many students and their families were familiar with the facility. More than 43,000 people already relied on Sixteenth Street for adult and pediatric medical services, behavioral health counseling and treatment, substance abuse treatment, chronic disease management, supportive social services, health education, and community empowerment, and the center welcomed those who would come because of their new partnership.
“Having a health clinic within the school is a win-win-win,” said Dr. Pam Wilson, Vice President of Medical Affairs at Sixteenth Street. “Students have access to high-quality healthcare when they need it. Parents benefit because they don’t have to take time off of work to take their child to the doctor. And, schools benefit because students spend more time in the classroom.”
She said Sixteenth Street is humbled and pleased to bring ready-access of health services on site, and that they’re looking forward to supporting healthy students and families at Cristo Rey Jesuit.
The initial investment the school put into their on-site clinic was for equipment, and to make sure that the technology and resources were available to the medical assistant and the physicians’ assistants that would be coming to the school from Sixteenth Street. Stith said, “Our students do a corporate work-study program, where we send them off to work. Many of them require a physical exam; so this really delivers efficiency to us so we don’t have to go off site to get those done. It’ll pay dividends down the road.”
Since the Cristo Rey clinic launched in January, Sixteenth Street has seen students for preventive care, acute care needs and other general medical services. The visits have taken place both in-person and through a telehealth option. The clinic has also provided information sessions for COVID and COVID vaccine education to staff, students and families, which has proven critical to ensuring the safe operation of the school and continuity of care for its students, families, and staff as they’ve had their own unique concerns and questions.
“To have students be successful academically, they must also be supported and given the resources to be successful in school and at home,” said Cristo Rey Jesuit High School nurse Amalie Hansen. “Sixteenth Street Clinic will allow access to healthcare in the school. This partnership shows the commitment CRJ has to providing a continuum of support and care for students and staff.”