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New school-based health center opening in Louisville

Staff of Family Health Centers, Inc. (FHC) and Iroquois High School have opened a new health center, which will serve its more than 1,300 students and staff members. (Family Health Centers, Inc.)

Connor Smith | Spectrum News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Family Health Centers, Inc. (FHC) and Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) have opened their newest school-based health center at Iroquois High School in southwest Louisville.

JCPS has seven school-based health centers to help address barriers to services. According to FHC, the Iroquois High School center will provide its students and staff access to affordable primary care, behavioral health and support services. More than 80% of its students are from economically disadvantaged homes.

“School-based clinics deliver health care for young people and their families where they are at school,” said JCPS health services manager Eva Stone. “Opening this center at Iroquois is an excellent way to reach more Louisvillians, especially young people, with preventative care, which will improve their health outcomes and the overall health of the city.”

Nearly one in five JCPS students were behind on required immunizations in the 2022-2023 school year, FHC said, with 92% of them living in poverty and nearly two-thirds being students of color. 

FHC said the goal of the Iroquois High School location is to improve access to affordable health services, identify and provide early treatment of mental health issues, reduce absenteeism and improve overall health and academic achievement. The school has over 1,300 students from over 40 countries.

“At Iroquois High School, we work hard every day to meet the needs of all students,” said principal Toetta Taul. “We promise to advocate for every student, promote teacher leadership and retention, and welcome all parent and community involvement. Having this clinic aids in our effort to improve the overall health and well-being of our students and staff while promoting the safe and welcoming environment that we strive to maintain.”

The Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) awarded FHC a $350,000 competitive grant for two years to provide primary health, mental health and enabling services at Iroquois High School. The Jewish Heritage Fund also provided funding totaling $150,000 for the site as part of its focus on promoting adolescent health and wellness, FHC said.

“We are excited to partner with Family Health Centers in expanding healthcare access for underserved youth in Louisville,” said Jeff Polson, president and CEO of the Jewish Heritage Fund. “School-based health clinics are a critical resource for keeping young people healthy and in school, and they provide the opportunity for teens to be actively involved in managing their health care needs.”

FHC is Louisville’s largest community health center, serving nearly 40,000 individuals annually and operating nine locations.