New Willowbrook health center opens for students

WILLOWBROOK (WLS) -- A new family health center several years in the making is finally open in the western suburbs.

What's unique is the center's location is inside an elementary school, where nearly three-quarters of the students come from low income families.

Tucked away inside an elementary school in Willowbrook is now a brand new space ready to serve hundreds of students who struggle with access to affordable health care.

"Anne M. Jeans has 400 students, 72% of our students come from low income households," Superintendent Tom Schneider said.

Schneider said as far as he know, this is a first for a DuPage County school.

"We know a lot of our families don't have consistency in health care," Superintendent Schneider explained. "We hope by having a health care facility right in the school will help improve that consistency of care."

"Our mission is to provide healthcare and social services in the western suburbs to people who have financial, economic, cultural social barriers to accessing health care," said Angela Curran, CEO of Pillars Community Health, which will staff and run the health center.

All of this was made possible by the Burke family, in honor of Marge and Jack Burke of La Grange.

"Their children made a very generous donation to the organization several years ago and asked that we help to build the infrastructure," Curran said.

Now nearly three years later the health center is officially up and running so that families here no longer have to travel 10 miles for affordable health care.

"We hope that will improve healthcare outcomes take one more worry away from our families as they try to get ready for the day," Superintendent Schneider said.

The center held its grand opening celebrations Monday afternoon. For now, it's open once a week right after school so families can access consistent health care and dental care right there.
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