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A Cut Above the Rest — Local leaders, school officials, and nonprofit partners gather for the new Dominguez High School Health Center’s ribbon cutting ceremony, Wednesday, March 27. (L-R) front row: Flanked by Dominguez High School’s ROP/CTE Certified Nursing Assistant and Home Health Aid (CNA/HHA) students, St. John’s Well Child & Family Center (SJWCFC) President and CEO Jim Mangia; LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas (2nd District); Compton Unified School District (CUSD) Board of Trustees President Micah Ali; Board Member Mae Thomas; Board Clerk Satra Zurita; and Los Angeles County Education Foundation (LACEF) Board of Directors President Cynthia McClain-Hill. Back row, left to right: Board Members Emma Sharif and Marjorie Shipp; Superintendent Darin Brawley; and Student Board Member Natalia-Cerilyn Su’a.
New On-Campus Facility Supported By Los Angeles County Education Foundation and CUSD, Offers Free or Low Cost Health Services to Patients of All Ages
Over 200 community members cheered as Compton Unified School District (CUSD) administrators and local leaders officially opened the new Dominguez High School Health Center, Wednesday, March 27.
The new health center, located at 15301 San Jose St., is a product of CUSD’s partnership with St. John’s Well Child & Family Center (SJWCFC) and the Los Angeles County Education Foundation (LACEF), and it will provide free or low-cost health care services to over 36,000 families.
Grand opening festivities were held outside the new health center, from 10 a.m. to noon. Special, guests included CUSD’s Board of Trustees President Micah Ali; Vice-President Margie Garrett; Board Clerk Satra Zurita; Legislative Representative Skyy D. Fisher; Board Members Emma Sharif, Marjorie Shipp, and Mae Thomas; Student Board Member Natalia-Cerilyn Su’a; Superintendent Darin Brawley; SJWCFC President and CEO Jim Mangia; and LACEF Board of Directors President Cynthia McClain-Hill.
Local leaders included LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas (2nd District), who officials credited with advocating for a school-based health center, and city of Compton Councilwoman Yvonne Arceneaux (3rd District). Dominguez High School’s Marching Band performed throughout the event.
The new health center focuses on primary and preventive care including immunizations, physical examinations, hearing and vision check-ups, asthma health care and education, as well as basic dental care and x-ray exams. Community members can also visit the facility for family planning, preconception care, and sexually transmitted infection (STI/STD) screenings. Hours of operation are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Closed on Fridays. Saturdays are dedicated to pediatric health services from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Most health insurers will be accepted including Care First, Health Net, Universal Care, Molina, Blue Cross, United Health Plan, Community Health Plan, Blue Shield PPO, Blue Shield HMO, Medicare, Medi-Cal, and Healthy Families. Staff will also assist with enrollment into Medi-Cal and Healthy Families.
Superintendent Brawley praised the district’s partnership with SJWCFC and LACEF as an example of their collective commitment to serving the school’s community. He also commended Supervisor Ridley-Thomas for supporting the new health center’s creation. “We’re thankful for the support of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and for his vision related to school-based health centers.
We also appreciate the support we received from LACEF and St. John’s Well Child & Family Center for their collaborative effort in marshaling the resources necessary to meet the needs of families within our community,” added Brawley, who also credited the district’s Board of Trustees for their efforts to open the new facility. “We are committed to expanding opportunities such as this one, to provide much needed services and support to families.”
In his grand opening speech, CUSD Board President Micah Ali highlighted the long-term benefits the health center will provide to thousands of Compton residents. “This center represents more than just providing health care to our students. It provides a great opportunity for the community as a whole to experience something that has been championed by our president and championed throughout the country… the need to provide affordable health care, and the need to provide it in an accessible way. Some say the American dream is a white picket fence, but I say it is quality health care that sustains your life.”
Dominguez Principal Rigoberto Roman, Ed.D. expressed his gratitude for the new facility. “The health center is a great contribution to our neighborhood because it offers our children and the community at large a full care clinic which provides numerous services including flu shots, physicals, and dental care. This partnership is a reminder that it takes more than one person to meet the needs of our children. With the clinic’s help, the school is afforded the opportunity to create a more successful learning environment for all students,” he said.
St. John’s President and CEO Jim Mangia said his organization is looking forward to the new facility becoming a vital part of the community. “This school-based health center is about creating health access for students on this campus, access for their families and for their surrounding (MORE) community,” he noted. “Schools are the center of communities. Having community health centers anchored on the campus of schools provides tremendous access and improves health outcomes for thousands of kids and their families. That’s what this is about. That’s what this partnership with CUSD and LACEF is all about. We’re really proud of this beautiful health center.”
LACEF Board of Directors President Cynthia McClain-Hill pointed out the academic benefits that come with a school-based health center. “We understand without question the link between academic performance and health. We are clear that the co-determinants to success today and in the future are health and education,” she said. “We celebrate the embrace of the Compton Unified School District. They’ve been a leader in this area and we’re proud to stand with Compton, with St. John’s, with the Supervisor, and with all of you…”
Joel Navarro, health center manager, SJWCFC, said the new site is conveniently located in the midst of Dominguez’s school community. “We’re providing families who may even live right in front of us or down the block with an opportunity to receive affordable health care,” he said. For Navarro, a graduate of Centennial High School’s class of 2006, it is an honor to be a part of the facility’s day-to-day operations. “I’m excited. I’ve been counting the days until the grand opening and now it’s here. The opportunity to help this city means a lot to me. I know there’s a great need for health services here in Compton,” he noted.
For more information or to schedule an appointment at the Dominguez High School Health Center, call (323) 541-1411 or visit www.wellchild.org.