LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Many families in the northeast Las Vegas valley are often faced with barriers, one of which is pediatric health care.
“We were able to see that the community was in need,” Pamela Girgis, a pediatric nurse practitioner with UNLV said. “80% or more of the kids we see are uninsured.”
Girgis said the closest pediatrician is more than six miles away from that area. For families without transportation that can be tough.
“For me it is heartbreaking,” Girgis said.
However, thanks to the donation of Dr. Gopal and Jeannette Das, a pediatrician’s office is now in the heart of the community, at Bailey Middle School.
“When we see the kids, we are able to check their ears and then provide a full physical so we can do sports physicals, any procedures they need we can do,” Girgis said.
The free clinic is on-site at the school, so parents don’t have to leave work to take their children to the doctor. The students at Bailey Middle School can be seen at the clinic and then go right back to class.
“That was the biggest thing we have a high chronic absenteeism rate and to cut that down we have the option to have students seen here,” Principal Danielle Duterte said.
In March the clinic expanded by opening its doors to Hickey Elementary and Sunrise High, in total the clinic can serve 5,000 students and their siblings.
“Our foot traffic has doubled with having them,” Girgis said.
The clinic offers everything from immunizations to lab testing to mental health services. Parents have to give consent before their child is seen at the clinic and then Girgis will follow up with them to go over what was done during the visit.
The health clinic at Bailey Middle School can offer walk-ins for the students there, but the Hickey and Sunrise students have to have an appointment.
It is open every Monday and Wednesday from 8:30 am-12:30 pm, you can make an appointment at 702-333-1099.
UNLV has another free health clinic located at 1720 South, Maryland PKWY. This location is for all CCSD students and their siblings, ages 3 to 21 years old.
That clinic is open Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. all year round except on holidays.