June 9, 2021
KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools has officially opened the doors to the KIPP Vision Health Center which will serve the KIPP Vision Campus and the surrounding community. This is the first school-based health center located in a charter school in Georgia.
In partnership with Southside Medical Center and Emory University School of Medicine, KIPP Vision Health Center will provide necessary health care and resources to students and families for many years to come. The health center is opening at a time when access to health care is critical due to the current demands of the global pandemic. Currently, the health center serves as a COVID-19 testing site with plans to be a community vaccination center to support the students, families, and staff. Access to quality health care is crucial to the academic success of students and KIPP, along with its partners, hopes that an on-site health center will help close learning gaps due to student illness and absenteeism.
This health center was made possible through a generous grant from The Marcus Foundation. Their investment in this project provided the funds to construct the facility and fund the staffing for the first three years. After that time, the facility will be financially self-sufficient through federal healthcare reimbursements.
“We are so grateful for the opportunity to support the health and wellness of our KIPP Vision Campus and community. The KIPP Vision Health Center is an impactful step towards ensuring that a lack of accessible health care does not stand in the way of our students’ ability to thrive and receive the excellent education they deserve,” said incoming Chief Executive Officer of KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools, Mini’imah Shaheed.
“‘The ultimate aim of school-based health centers (SBHCs) is to enhance academic achievement through improving the physical and emotional health of students. Students learn best when they are healthy, present, and have socio-emotional connections to the school. SBHCs promote those principles,” said Dr. Veda Johnson, Professor of Pediatrics at Emory University.
The health center has three examination rooms, a lab space, and an office for counseling and mental health support. The facility will be operated daily by Southside Medical Center in partnership with KIPP Vision Primary School and Academy.
“The Southside partnership with The Marcus Foundation, Emory, and KIPP is in complete alignment with our mission to provide exceptional primary health care to the medically underserved. We are proud to say we are now a part of the ‘KIPP Vision Village’ and are ready to serve the medical needs of this community with Compassion, Accountability, Respect, Excellence, and Service. SMC C.A.R.E.S!,” said Dr. David Williams, Chief Executive Officer of Southside Medical Center.