Partnership with Houston Methodist St. John Hospital to benefit DISD students, staff
A unique health care clinic for Dickinson ISD students, faculty and staff is once again open, thanks to the district’s partnership with Houston Methodist St. John Hospital.
For many years, the Gator HOPE Clinic at Dickinson High School has provided quick and convenient access to care free of charge. But last school year, the clinic was forced to close due to the loss of its sponsor. Houston Methodist St. John Hospital recently agreed to step forward and support the clinic, providing a charitable contribution to help fund a full-time physician assistant and assigning a local physician from Houston Methodist Primary Care Group to oversee the program.
“The Gator HOPE Clinic plays a critical role in keeping our students healthy and in school,” said Dickinson ISD Superintendent Vicki Mims. “Many of our students are uninsured or do not have a family physician, and they rely on the clinic for care when they are ill or to help manage chronic conditions. We are extremely grateful to Houston Methodist St. John Hospital for its commitment to our district and our community.”
Nancy Lounds is the long-time physician assistant for the clinic. Houston Methodist Primary Care Group physician Zenithe Pierre Ware, M.D., who is board-certified in internal medicine and pediatrics, provides oversight and support.
As a physician assistant, Lounds can perform exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order diagnostic tests, give immunizations and prescribe medication. If a student or staff member needs more advanced care or a specialist, Lounds can make a referral to Pierre Ware or another Houston Methodist physician. The clinic even provides sports physicals.
“I am thrilled to be back on campus and once again serving students and staff,” Lounds said. “The Gator HOPE Clinic is important to so many of our students who don’t have any other access to care. When they need help, we are there for them.”
The clinic also provides urgent care for teachers and staff from across the district, allowing them to receive a diagnosis and begin treatment quickly for minor illnesses.
"It’s very helpful for our teachers, because I can see them quickly and get them back to class,” Lounds said.
The district’s partnership with Houston Methodist St. John Hospital also includes a number of other benefits for Dickinson ISD teachers and staff, including a dedicated assistance/appointment hotline; expedited appointments to Houston Methodist Primary Care Group; a concierge patient navigator for complex needs; and more.
“This partnership is an excellent way for all of us at Houston Methodist St. John Hospital to give back to our community and support Dickinson families,” said Dan Newman, CEO. “We hope this convenient option will provide students, faculty and staff the quality care they need.”