CITY OF KATY (Covering Katy) — It’s not just low income families that don’t have health insurance these days and Katy’s Christ Clinic is helping fill a need that’s quickly growing. Health insurance is getting more expensive and higher deductibles are making it financially more difficult for people go to the doctor in Katy and across the nation, in the era of the Affordable Care Act. Premiums for some insurance plans will double next year, and the population of the Katy area is growing, so the need for this Katy based non-profit is expected to grow in 2017 and beyond.
Christ Clinic relocated to a larger facility at 25722 Kingsland Boulevard earlier this year, and it has also expanded its offerings to include mental health services. The mental health services are provided in partnership with the Carole and Ronald Krist Samaritan Counseling Center, a nationally recognized non-profit organization that offers counseling services to individuals and families in the greater Houston area.
Lauren Wood, a licensed clinical social worker, described the mental health services provided as three-fold: on-spot services, full diagnostic access, and continuation of ongoing therapy.
A key feature of these services is the record keeping. Patients who visit different clinics are often asked to complete paperwork before each visit. For the clinics to share information with other clinics requires still more paperwork. But by working in partnership with the Krist Samaritan Counseling Center, Christ Clinic staff can share a patient’s records. In this way, things are streamlined, and doctors can more quickly assess the situation and identify the appropriate responses.
“It’s a one-stop shop,” Wood said. “The convenience is pretty cool,” Wood added.
Kara Hill, Christ Clinic’s executive director, said that psychiatric pharmacists help with medications. The clinic has a pharmacy, which expanded as part of the clinic’s relocation in February to its present location at 25722 Kingsland Blvd.
In addition to its larger pharmacy, the clinic has 10 exam rooms and a larger education room. In this education room, clients learn, among other things, how to improve their health through diet. Services offered include cancer prevention services, care for chronic diseases, medication and pharmacy assistance, physical therapy, podiatry, primary and preventive care for adults, and well-women visits.
Katy’s growth has helped bring about the clinic’s growth. Hill said that small businesses are not mandated to provide insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Workers such as roofers, lawn care workers, restaurant workers, and bus drivers, among others, use the services the clinic provides.
The clinic began in 2000 at Memorial Lutheran Church. The mission was to serve the uninsured in Katy one night per week in the church gymnasium. In 2006, the clinic moved to 5504 First St. Hours were from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. three days per week. The First Street location was 3,500 square feet and averaged 600 visits a month from approximately 400-500 patients.
The clinic separated from the church and became an independent 501(c)(3) organization in 2012. The clinic began operating five days a week in 2013.
To make a donation to the clinic, or become a volunteer, visit the clinic’s web site at christclinickaty.org.