RACINE — The blueprint for the Racine Community Health Center, a medical facility to be constructed in the lower level of the Julian Thomas Elementary School, 930 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, is coming together.
The Racine Health Department said that it is expecting nearly 4,000 “patient encounters” in 2020, the first year it’s planned to be open. In 2021, that number is expected to grow to 16,400.
A blueprint for the center was presented to the city’s Plan Commission on Wednesday. In addition to the blueprint, which lays out what is planned to be built in what had been the school’s basement, plans for a new elevator and entryway were presented to the commission.
“You can’t get into the school from where the entrance to the clinic would be,” explained Dottie-Kay Bowersox, the city’s public health administrator.
The proposal passed unanimously, and now has to go before the City Council.
The Health Department is also working on a federal application to allow the planned facility to be designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center.
Here’s what’s included in the floor plan approved by the Plan Commission:
- Four exam rooms
- Two dental rooms
- A dental lab
- A waiting room, connected to a reception area, for patients
- Break room for employees
- A social worker’s office
- A meeting office for the case manager/health educator
- Offices for human resources, the CEO, the COO, the physician/medical director and the dentist/dental director
Jeff Hintz, a planner with the city, said the medical center isn’t expected to impair the neighborhood’s property values at all, and will also add quality of life to the neighborhood by adding access to medical care for the more than 40,000 residents of ZIP codes 53403 and 53404.
According to the city, 17% of the residents of those two ZIP codes have incomes below the federal poverty level and 9% of them are uninsured.
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Mayor Cory Mason and 9th District Alderman Trevor Jung, who sits on the Plan Commission, both spoke highly of the Racine Community Health Center and the city’s partnership with the Racine Unified School District in its creation.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Racine Unified School District for entering into this partnership with the city and county in the building of this space for an outcome which that is much needed, both in this neighborhood and the community around it,” Mason said.
“A healthier community is a community that can learn, and so it only makes sense that this resource would be available through partnership with Racine Unified Schools. I’m proud of our health department. I’m proud of the district I’m a product of. And I’m glad that we’re providing essential services for folks in a neighborhood of need,” added Jung, a Case High School graduate.
The proposed hiring model for the medical center indicates that, within the first two years, the health center is expected to employ up to 21 people.
The proposed positions are as follows:
- Executive assistant
- Medical director/physician
- Two health educators (one to be hired in the second year)
- Dentist/dental director (to be hired in the second year)
- Two dental hygienists (to be hired in the second year)
- Two nurse practitioners
- Bachelors prepared nurse (to be hired in the second year)
- Two licensed clinical social workers
- Two medical assistants
- Two registered nurse case managers (one to be hired in the second year)
- One case manager (non-registered nurse, to handle Medicaid applications, referrals, navigating health care system, translation services, etc.)
- Two clerical employees
“A healthier community is a community that can learn, and so it only makes sense that this resource would be available through partnership with Racine Unified Schools. I’m proud of our health department. I’m proud of the district I’m a product of. And I’m glad that we’re providing essential services for folks in a neighborhood of need.” <&textAlign: right>Trevor Jung, 9th District alderman