Several service entities in the Canyon Lake community have joined together to address health needs. And the response has been enthusiastic.
Health Alliance of Providers and Partners for You (HAPPY) has held six health screening clinics in Canyon Lake, and each one has been a little bigger than the last, said Brandon Kludt, Canyon Lake Fire/EMS Chief of EMS.
The first sessions were held at the Canyon Lake Fire Station on Scissortail, off FM 306. But the waiting area quickly proved to be too small.
Greg Eckert, paramedic for the Mobile Integrated Health (MIH) program, said, “We thought we had an ideal set-up at the fire station, but after we held the second one we knew we would need to find another location; a bigger one.”
Kludt and Maureen Schein, resource program director at the Community Resource & Recreation Center (CRRC), have been working on the clinic idea for the last couple years.
It was hoped the clinic would be one of the new programs in the 11,000 square foot facility CRRC will be building.
However, the clinic idea couldn’t wait.
As Eckert began seeing people in their homes, and meeting with folks in the community, he and Tricia Mathis, a home visiting nurse with Methodist Healthcare Ministries, knew it was time to start the project.
Only two people showed up at the first open clinic, but one of them had health questions that caused the medical workers to send her for tests. The results were not good, but the fact that a health issue was diagnosed and is now being treated became a stepping stone for the clinic’s growth.
Mathis said, “Through health education and screenings, we have a great opportunity to engage and empower people and help guide them through their health journey. We have had a great response and feel we are providing a valuable service to the community.”
At a community network meeting, the Canyon Lake Presbyterian Church heard about the space problem the clinic was having. It was agreed the church could host the clinic until the new CRRC building becomes available.
“We’re planning to host the health screening program,” Schein said. “Our floor plans call for two medical exam rooms.”
Eckert collaborated with Mathis, who brought in Chery Johnson, of the Acacia Medical Mission in Bulverde/Spring Branch. They assist with serving patients at the clinics. Acacia is also able to assist with funding for some tests for patients.
“The arrangement and cooperative nature of HAPPY works because we each get to use our area of expertise,” Eckert said.
“Paramedics and nurses have skill sets that work well together giving our patients a higher level of care.”
The monthly clinics will hopefully become weekly clinics when the CRRC completes construction of its new facility. The idea began four years ago as a food pantry expansion, and grew into a multipurpose building to house additional programs and services – including medical.
CRRC continues to work on planning and funding for the building. With The Big Give coming up, the organization is hopeful it can bring in more funds to help pay for construction.
In the meantime, HAPPY day health screenings will continue to be held the second Tuesday of the month at Canyon Lake Presbyterian Church, on FM 2673.