East Texas clinic opens to increase access to healthcare

By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - My Place to Access Care or myPAC started a clinic during the summer for the first time ever.  They said they opened the clinic because they saw East Texans had a need.

It's like having a doctor's office at your school.

"Us being here allows us to make a diagnoses and provide treatment and ultimately keep the children in school," said myPAC Program Director Meredith Stanford.

Stanford runs the myPAC program. She said the school nurses alone are limited to what they can provide.

"Most of the time, their only option is to send the student home, if that is warranted. And, most importantly in summer school, the children really need to be here," Stanford said.

These young students said they don't mind a trip to the clinic because they know staying in school is important.

"So you won't get a zero on your grades," said second-grader Carter Lair.

Lair and David Cassity are glad the clinic's there for them.

"Because if you got sick or you got hurt," first-grader Cassity said.

The clinic is here for all students enrolled in summer school regardless of whether or not they can pay. It's funded through state grants and local partners.

"We felt that it was important, given that there were almost a thousand students enrolled in summer school this summer and access to care is sometimes very challenging for parents," Stanford said.

In a Tuesday news conference President Barack Obama said, "Unless we fix what's broken in our current system everyone's healthcare will be in jeopardy."

Especially in a rough economy where the future of healthcare is uncertain.

"I think this program is such a great help for the kids to keep them in school and to help them feel better so they can concentrate in class," said myPAC Medical Assistant Yohana Castro.

Cassity likes the clinic because he knows what it does for his classmates.

"Make them feel better," Cassity said.

"We're here for the students. We will do whatever we can to take care of the students," said Stanford.

Castro said, "What I like about my job is they come in with a really sad face and they leave a little better."

If you have questions or want to make an appointment, you can reach the clinic at 936-632-6972.

Wednesday night, President Obama is going to talk about his plans for healthcare in a program called "Prescription for America" that you can watch at 9 p.m. on KTRE.

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