Lakeland school now houses community clinic

There are dozens of medical clinics in Lakeland, but none like the one that opened recently. Central Florida Health Care just started seeing patients on the campus of Crystal Lake Elementary School.

It is the only clinic of its kind in Polk County.

As a community partnership project, its mission is to make the kids at the school healthier – but also their parents and others in the neighborhood.

The Crystal Lake area was targeted because of a particular problem, according to Jane Coyle-Hart, a community health care coordinator with Central Florida Health Care.

“There was no dental care,” she told FOX 13. “They were not using medical care.”

Coyle-Hart says that could be possibly because people in the area have transportation problems, money woes, or simply because they are not used to dealing with health care issues.

The new clinic will see kids referred by the school nurse.

“We hope to address the head lice problem, and any other physical ailments that these children have,” said principal Kristan Fowler.

The clinic is also open to anyone who walks in the door, whether they can pay or not.

For the moment, it is open Tuesday and Thursday morning, and will be open more days as the need increases.

The clinic’s mission extends beyond just providing health care services. It plans on providing space for  community groups, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, and giving self-improvement classes on nutrition, finances and more.

“It is their hub to come to,” offered Andrea Hagan, director of community partnership schools.