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Denton ISD is looking at opening its own health clinic — maybe as soon as the next school year

Denton ISD is looking at opening a health clinic for its employees.

The Denton Independent School District wants to improve healthcare for its employees by opening its own health clinic.

After sending out a “request for proposal,” Denton ISD is looking at partnering with Concentra, a health care company that runs more than 500 urgent care facilities in 44 states.

“Concentra has been in the onsite medical clinic operations [business] for 45 years,” said Chris Bomberger, the district’s executive director of child nutrition and risk management. “They're also Texas-based … their corporate offices are in Addison.”

Bomberger says the relationship between a primary care physician and patient are key factors to successful health care.

“Many of our employees don't have that access to a primary care physician, and so I'm trying to provide that level of service,” Bomberger said.

The clinic could open as early as next school year. School officials say a clinic would reduce wait times for healthcare and improve employee retention. Other school districts in North Texas operate health clinics.

“If you've ever been to an urgent care recently, three to four hours is an average wait time to get in,” Bomberger said. “So being able to access our facility, offering services for our 5000 employees and their spouses and dependents is key.”

He said having a clinic also would help employees get back to work.

Employees injured on the job might be able to get into clinic “within the same day” and “return to work healthy,” Bomberger said.

School officials estimate the clinic would cost about $1 million a year to operate and could be self-funding, using money already allocated to cover health costs and workers compensation.

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Mya Nicholson reports for KERA's government accountability team. She studies broadcast journalism at the University of North Texas.

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Mya Nicholson reports for KERA News as an intern assigned to KERA's government accountability team. She studies broadcast journalism at the University of North Texas.