What’s in a Name? Georgia Kidwell School-Based Clinic

July 30th, 2018

When considering a name for a new school-based health clinic nearly a decade ago, JPS Health Network leaders wanted a moniker that made people who worked and visited the site at 3115 Pipeline Road in Euless think of a champion for the causes of children’s health and education.

They found that inspirational leader in longtime HEB ISD teacher and JPS volunteer Georgia Kidwell.

JPS Health Network

Georgia Kidwell at the dedication of the clinic that bears her name

“What a perfect name for a child healthcare center -- Kidwell,” said Dr. Gene Buinger, superintendent of HEB schools, during the 2009 dedication ceremony of the Georgia Kidwell School-Based Clinic. “That's what it's all about, helping kids get well as soon as possible so they can be in school where learning can take place.”

Today, the Georgia Kidwell School-Based Clinic continues its job of providing primary medical care to hundreds of children, regardless of social or economic status.

“I really believe the establishment of the school-based clinics is one of the very best things that JPS has ever done,” Kidwell said. “They’re wonderful because they take all children, and the school districts appreciate that they keep their kids healthy and in the classroom. It’s a great service that has been very successful – and when other districts saw how well it worked, they wanted clinics, too.”

Kidwell said the partnership between JPS and the HEB school district was an excellent combination because there were many children in the area who were in need of medical services that would allow them to get their education. She was glad to see the clinic open – but she was shocked when leaders asked if she’d mind if it was named after her.

“I was chair of the Northeast Advisory Board for many years and we worked very hard for a long time to get a school-based clinic in the northeast part of Tarrant County because we saw the need,” Kidwell remembered. “I was so surprised when I was told they wanted to dedicate the building in my name. It’s a very nice honor. I never expected anything like that.”

Buinger was one of several speakers that day nine years who told stories about Kidwell's dedication to children and to improving the quality of life in Northeast Tarrant County. JPS President and CEO Robert Earley was the Master of Ceremonies for the event. Other speakers were JPS Board of Managers Chair Scott Fisher, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley, State Representative Vicki Truitt, Mercedes Mayer of State Representative Todd Smith’s office, and Tarrant County Commissioner Gary Fickes. The HEB ISD orchestra performed for the crowd at the ceremony.

While Kidwell wasn’t sure she deserved the recognition, leaders at the dedication said they only wished they could only do more to honor her for her donations of time and energy.

“Georgia Kidwell has been a key leader in Northeast Tarrant County on so many fronts,” Truitt said at the dedication. “This is just a small token of what you really deserve.”

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