Spring Branch Community Health Center, Cy-Fair Clinic – Cypress, TX | Folashade Obitayo, DDS
In the Cypress-Fairbanks area of Houston, Texas, underserved children and their families now have greater access to dental care and a host of other health care services, thanks to the Spring Branch Community Center’s Cy-Fair location. The clinic opened in 2016 on Cy Park High School land donated by the Cy-Fair Independent School District (ISD), and it began offering dental services in July 2017. It is the sixth office in the non-profit organization’s network of community health centers throughout Houston and Katy.
The Cy-Fair Community Health Clinic, which is designated as a Federal Qualified Health Center, serves about 20,000 people across all of its clinics. Half of its largely Hispanic patient base is 200% or more below the Federal poverty level, so finding accessible, affordable care can be difficult for patients who have Medicaid but can’t find a provider nearby.
The catalyst for the construction of the Cy-Fair Clinic was meeting a gap in services to local, low-income children who lack access to health care providers. The school district voted to provide the land so a clinic could be located close to students. As part of this innovative partnership, the school district provides bus service to the clinic for impoverished children from six local schools. School faculty, staff, and those in the community can access services as well—and for those who are uninsured, fees are on a sliding scale to keep it affordable. Henry Schein’s Casey Schulin, Equipment Sales Specialist, was involved in the build of another local clinic that served the homeless in Houston, and through that relationship, he received a referral for the building of the Cy-Fair Clinic.
Mr. Schulin learned early on that the building plan was taking an unusual path, and that it would require a different type of project management than what he typically used.
Unique Offsite Construction Process
The building was constructed remotely and moved onto the site after fabrication. This unusual process, which involved the configuration of 12 modular trailers into a stand-alone office, was done to give the school district the flexibility to use the land for expansion in the future. The clinic was built remotely in a controlled environment and then shipped to its final location. Although mobile, it has the feel of a permanent structure with a façade that looks as permanent as any other building.
The building was delivered to its location ready to go, which meant the blueprints required extra scrutiny to make sure even the smallest details were perfect before fabrication began because there would be no changes or adjustments made on the fly when it arrived on site.
“We worked more closely than normal with the architect during the planning,” noted Mr. Schulin, “because every plug, location of wiring, and plumbing had to be in the exact right spot. There could be no field adjustments.”
The attention to detail and ongoing weekly communication between the partners on the front end of the project led to a perfect conclusion—a state-of-the-art dental practice that provides a much-needed health care resource for the community.
High-Tech Office Is Highly Functional
The dental office is 1,000 square feet and features four operatories, digital imaging, an onsite lab, and top-of-the-line sterilization setup. Mr. Schulin’s team advised the architects on best practices in dental office configuration and workflow, and the resulting floor plan is efficient, with a smooth patient flow.
The design and theme is understated and functional, covered in a neutral palette with subdued tile floors. Its crisp, no-nonsense look is professional, comfortable, and durable enough to handle the rigors of a busy patient load that welcomes a large number of children and teens.
“We met with the Spring Branch CEO, COO, and Dr. Folashade Obitayo to go over their budget and pick the best equipment to fit inside their space. Then we coordinated with the remote building company to make it all work,” recalled Mr. Schulin.
“A primary reason for opening this new clinic was the opportunity to create a new, innovative model of delivering dental services,” noted Dr. Obitayo. “It is designed to provide dental care to the students, staff, and faculty of the third largest ISD in Texas, but also provide care to the surrounding community.”
Because it is one of the only dental offices in the area for the many students who visit each week, the office needed equipment that could stand up to a high-volume patient load while being reliable and high quality. Dr. Obitayo and the team chose Midmark dental chairs, lights, and cabinetry throughout the practice.
“They chose it because of its reputation as a solid workhorse that is also a great value,” explained Mr. Schulin.
The floor plan was laid out to make the most of the practice’s modest space within the overall clinic. The operatories are modern, with dark cabinetry that contrasts with the light beige solid surface countertops. Three treatment rooms line the right side of the suite, separated by center cabinets and 12 o’clock units behind. The fourth operatory sits across the hall and is a closed bay suite, providing privacy and quiet. On one side of the quiet treatment room sits an alcove that holds the office’s Gendex digital panoramic unit, which met their general dentistry needs.
On the other side, a galley-style sterilization room, equipped with Midmark equipment and a VistaPure water system, is close by. One door down is the onsite lab.
As the team selected digital imaging, they were seeking equipment that was proven, gave them flexibility, and would be reliable. In addition to the Gendex panoramic system, they invested in a NOMAD Pro 2 intraoral X-ray because of its mobility and Dentsply Sirona Schick 33 sensors because they were being used successfully at the other Spring Branch clinics. A Digital Doc intraoral camera allows them to illustrate treatment explanations for patients by showing them photos during discussion.
“I really like the look of the new office and the fact that I was part of helping an organization that is doing such a great thing for the community,” said Mr. Schulin. “The patients have gained a very nice office for dentistry to receive the care they need.”♦