The new Wellness Pointe at PTISD community clinic has officially opened on the Pine Tree High School campus.
The clinic is made possible through a $200,000 federal grant over three years.
CEO of Wellness Pointe Chad Jones said that Wellness Pointe at PTISD started serving patients early to mid February.
The grant through the Health Resources and Services Administration — part of the US Department of Health and Human Services — was designated for a health center at a school or on a school district’s property.
Jones previously said Pine Tree ISD was one of the districts he contacted about applying for the grant and added he has a relationship with Valerie Baxter, assistant superintendent for innovation and academies, through their service on the board of the nonprofit organization Education By Design.
The grant specifically was for a health center at a school or on a school district’s property.
According to Jones, the cost of running a clinic the size of Wellness Pointe at PTISD is about $400,000, so the other half is being supplemented by Wellness Pointe.
The clinic is providing medical services on one side of the building and behavioral services on the other. It has four exam rooms, individual and group therapy rooms and a play therapy room.
The clinic is staffed by Wendy Fopay, family nurse practitioner, and Kimberly Peterson, licensed professional counselor.
Several open spaces in the clinic are reserved for future services.
“As the need becomes apparent for what kind of services are needed, we will expand the clinic,” Jones said.
He gave examples such as dentistry and optometry services, but reiterated that he and staff members were waiting to gauge the demand from the community.
Based on how many patients have sought behavioral health services, Jones said he expects some of the empty space will become additional behavioral health offices.
“Within the first two weeks of (Peterson) taking patients, we were to the point that we had to temporarily shut down intake because we were having so many intakes that we couldn’t get patients back in for follow up services so we’re already recruiting for another (licensed professional counselor),” Jones said.
Peterson agreed that the need for behavioral health services has been overwhelming. She said she is regularly receiving referrals for people of all age groups — children, adolescents and adults.
The play therapy room offered at the clinic is the largest at all Wellness Pointe locations, Jones said.
He explained that all Wellness Pointe services will be accessible for patients, even if not offered at the PTISD clinic. Patients who need specialized assistance will be referred to other Wellness Pointe locations.
Wellness Pointe at PTISD is at 1001 W. Fairmont.
The clinic accepts Medicaid, CHIP and Medicare (including Health Spring). Most health insurance is accepted including Aetna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, TRICARE and United Healthcare.
Clinic hours are 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. No appointment is necessary.
Contact the clinic (903) 212-4820.