In Wichita, GraceMed and schools go together like chalk and chalkboards, students and hall passes, snow days and happiness . . . well you get the idea. We’ve been working side by side with schools in the Wichita area long enough to think of ourselves as partners in caring about kids.
So far, we don’t have any clinics in Topeka that are actually located on school grounds (with an emphasis on “so far”). But we are just as committed to building a partnership with all of our friendly neighborhood educators there.
That’s why we were particularly pleased to have the opportunity to welcome students to our new Capitol Family Clinic on two separate occasions this past term.
The first visit was from students attending The International Academy, a private preparatory school just down the road from Capitol Family Clinic. The students came prepared to welcome GraceMed to the Tennesseee Town neighborhood with songs, readings and prayer.
“GraceMed and The International Academy are both relatively new neighbors in Tennessee Town with missions that coordinate well with each other, ” said headmaster Sandra Lassiter. “We’re trying to give our students an improved opportunity to excel throughout their educational experience. And with GraceMed here to help them improve their health as well, it all works together to make them better students and give them a brighter future.”
The students were given a tour of the clinic and an opportunity to meet a number of our providers and clinical staff. It’s a firsthand experience that might hopefully inspire a career direction for some of the students.
Our other visitor has already indicated an interest in pursuing a healthcare career. Kanyon Alexander, a Topeka High School junior is interested in becoming an oral surgeon one day. He was welcomed to GraceMed to participate in a shadow dentistry program. As part of the program, he visited area schools to observe our Dental Outreach Team and “assisted” a dentist at our Capitol Family Clinic. On the last day of his experience, our staff shared lunch with Kanyon, so he could continue to learn from the experts about what it’s like to work in the field of dentistry.
“It’s really gratifying for all of us to have opportunities like these to help young students imagine a future in healthcare,” said Alice Weingartner, Director of Community Development. “We want to go beyond the care we provide to make a difference in the quality of life in the community. And who knows? There’s really no reason why one of these students couldn’t one day be helping us serve our patients here at GraceMed.”