The Health Center grew out of an identified need for school health services at Bruce-Guadalupe Community School (BGCS) in 1994. The Health Center originally provided services exclusively to BGCS students; it has progressively and systematically increased its services to encompass participants in most programs offered by UCC, as well as UCC employees. Services are available for participants in programs including BGCS (preschool, elementary school, and middle school), the Senior Center, the Adult Day Center, and Human Services outpatient and residential treatment programs. Additional support is offered to other UCC clients and program participants, employees, and community collaboration programs.
The Health Center is community and primary health care based: community based meaning that community involvement is central; primary health care based meaning that health promotion and illness prevention are the goals of health care. Accordingly, goals are:
- To maintain the provision of culturally appropriate health services focused on illness prevention and health promotion.
- To provide interdisciplinary, collaborative educational opportunities for students studying health related issues.
Services for persons in UCC programs include:
- Physical examinations
- Health education sessions
- Health screenings (vision, hearing, dental, blood pressure)
- Acute episodic health care for fevers, asthmatic attacks, earaches, or playground injuries
- Tuberculin skin tests, immunizations, and flu shots
Screening programs, individual health counseling, individualized nursing interventions for dementia and other memory loss problems, and flu clinics are provided to the elderly.
Education programs are provided to the staff of the elderly programs.
The Health Center has strong connections with many community resources, including providers, educational institutions, and social programs.
Since the inception of the Health Center, BGCS student attendance has averaged more than 94% for all grades. Milwaukee Public Schools' attendance for elementary students over the same period averaged 91% and just 86% for middle school students. The goal of preventative and on-site healthcare is to keep children in school to strengthen their learning experiences.
The Health Center is positively impacting the health of the Hispanic population in Milwaukee. Traditionally low immunization rates of the school children at BGCS rose from 38.5% (preschool and kindergarten) and 88.5% (grades 1-8) to 100% for both groups within the first year of the Health Center's operation. The annual immunization rate has since remained a consistent 99% to 100% in the years since the center's inception.