South Side school-based community health center now open

The Cynthia Barnes-Boyd/Drake Health and Wellness Center, a renovated school-based community health center on Chicago’s South Side, opened to patients today.

The center is part of the UI Health Mile Square Health Center network of federally qualified health centers and is located on-site at John B. Drake Elementary School, which is part of CPS, near the intersection of State and 26th streets.

Comprehensive clinical services provided at the health and wellness center include immunizations, physical exams, sports physicals, reproductive health care and behavioral health support. Services are available to students, their families and the entire community.

Ribbon cutting for the opening of the Cynthia Barnes-Boyd/Drake Health and Wellness Center

Leaders from UI Health and CPS celebrate the opening of the Cynthia Barnes-Boyd/Drake Health and Wellness Center, a school-based community health center, alongside the family of the late Cynthia “Cee” Barnes-Boyd on March 4. (Photo: UIC/Sebastian Ortiz)

Last week, leaders from UIC, Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Department of Public Health celebrated the opening of the center with a ceremonial ribbon cutting. Third Ward Alderman Pat Dowell and students from Drake elementary also attended the event, which included remarks and tours of the clinic’s three exam rooms, behavioral health room and on-site laboratory.

Family members of the late Cynthia “Cee” Barnes-Boyd, who spearheaded the clinic’s relocation and renovation prior to her death in 2017, were also in attendance. Barnes-Boyd oversaw all of Mile Square’s school-based health centers during her tenure at UIC.

“Today we celebrate not only this ceremonial ribbon cutting and the opening of a new school-based health and wellness center, we also commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Cee Barnes-Boyd,” Dr. Robert Barish, vice chancellor for health affairs at UIC, said during the event.

Henry Taylor, chief executive officer of Mile Square Health Center, said, “It’s a glorious day. Mile Square has a long history of serving the Chicago community and today our commitment to the health and wellbeing of every person in our neighborhoods is reaffirmed.”

“It is evident as I look across those who have come here today that the connection we have to our community is strong and will continue to strengthen in the years ahead,” Barish said.

“We are so proud of Dr. Barnes-Boyd’s legacy,” said Angela Ellison, senior director of the Office of Community Engagement and Neighborhood Health Partnerships at UIC. “It is so important for every community to have access to quality care right in their own neighborhood.”

More information about the Cynthia Barnes-Boyd/Drake Health and Wellness Center and other UI Health Mile Square Health Center locations is available online.

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