If a student gets sick at Cedar Springs Public Schools, they don’t have to wait to be picked up by a parent and then wait for an appointment with the family doctor. Instead, with a parent’s permission, they can be seen right on campus the same day at the newly renovated Cedar Springs Cherry Health Center.
The Cedar Springs Cherry Health Center, located at Red Hawk Elementary, celebrated their grand reopening on Tuesday, October 18, with a ribbon cutting, speakers, tours and refreshments.
“Cherry Health first opened in 2015 with a limited amount of medical and behavioral health services in a temporarily constructed space at the school, while campaign funds were raised to build out a fully functional health center,” explained Tiffany Aldrich, Director of Communications for Cherry Health. “The ribbon cutting and open house was to share the fully constructed health center with the community, which now also includes dental services.”
Cherry Health CEO Chris Shea said their partnership is not just with Cedar Springs Schools, but with the community. “We are looking toward better health for all residents,” explained Shea. “Access to health care is important. More people now have coverage, but if they have no place to use it, it doesn’t do much good.”
Superintendent Dr. Laura VanDuyn said that Cedar Springs Schools serves a population of 48 percent low socio-economic students. “To have this is important. We now have dental, medical, and behavioral health, with DHS right next door.”
The school doesn’t pay any money toward having them on campus, they just offer the space. Instead, the expense is paid for through a grant from the State of Michigan, and donations, such as from ChoiceOne Bank and the Weller Foundation.
"Any student ages 3-21 can be seen in the health center, regardless of whether or not they attend CSPS," said Aldrich. “Therefore, if a student attends CSPS, a charter or private school, or is homeschooled, they can come to the health center.” Those younger than three must be a sibling of a student using the health center.
The health center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information or to make an appointment call (616) 696-3470.