Health Establishments at Local Schools (HEALS, Inc.) provides free, school-based pediatric medical, dental, and optometry care to local children.
HEALS Medical Clinics
HEALS (Health Establishments at Local Schools), Inc., was incorporated in October 1998, and was a pioneer in bringing the concept of school-based health clinics to Huntsville and Madison County, Alabama.
Opening in January 1999, HEALS’ first clinic made health care available for all Lincoln Elementary School students and their families. A second HEALS medical clinic opened at Terry Heights Elementary School in August 2001.
In January 2002, the death of a kindergartner due to un-diagnosed Meningitis prompted Barbara Johnson, the school principal at West Huntsville Elementary School, to approach HEALS about opening a clinic at her school. HEALS opened its third medical clinic at this school in December 2003. The clinic became a medical home for students from two public housing developments, a shelter for homeless women and their children, and a shelter for battered women.
In August 2009, after consolidation of West Huntsville and Terry Heights, the medical clinics relocated to University Place and Morris Elementary Schools. One year later, in August 2010, Martin Luther King and Lincoln Elementary Schools consolidate and the clinic remained at MLK.
In 2009, a group of committed community members requested a HEALS clinic at the Madison Crossroads Elementary School. The school is located in Toney, AL, one of the most impoverished areas of Madison County. The request became a reality in 2011, just in time for the new school year, thanks to many generous community members.
After Huntsville City Schools rebuilt or redesigned three of HEALS site school locations in 2016 & 2017, the three city HEALS clinics moved into new spaces. In 2016, University Place closed on UAH property and the students were moved to the new Sonnie Hereford Elementary school on the old Terry Heights location. The clinic is now located inside the school. Martin Luther King was redesigned and the HEALS medical and dental clinics were added on to the south portion of the school with a private entrance and parking lot. In 2017, Morris moved into their new school on the same property and the medical clinic moved into the north part of the school with a private entrance.
Also in 2017, HEALS opened a second Madison county location at Madison County Elementary in Gurley, Alabama with the dedication and generosity of Graces of Gurley and the Gurley community.
HEALS Dental & Optometry Clinics
In August 2000, HEALS’ Dental Clinic made oral health care available for some of the community’s most vulnerable children. HEALS school-based dental clinic program is a model on which new clinics across the country base their programs. The Center for Health and Health Care has recognized HEALS as a model that brings dental care to children who might otherwise never receive it.
The first Dental Clinic was located in a portable building behind Martin Luther King Elementary School before it moved to join the medical clinic inside the school in 2016.
In 2014, the second HEALS Dental clinic opened in Madison Cross Roads behind the existing HEALS Medical clinic. This was truly a “miracle clinic” with strong support from the Madison Cross Roads community and Huntsville business owners and supporters. Following shortly after, in 2016, our first Optometry location opened in the back portion of the dental clinic. This was the first time Optometry was offered to the children of HEALS.
In August of 2018, our second Optometry clinic opened within the city limits at the Morris P-8 HEALS clinic. At the same time, our third dental clinic opened in Gurley at the HEALS Clinic at Madison County Elementary.
The dental & optometry clinics are available for the eligible children and siblings our the site schools. Parents are notified that their child has a dental appointment and that they will be transported to and from the Dental Clinic. In addition to providing dental care to the students attending site schools, HEALS’ referral system also provides access to dental services for any eligible student in Madison County.
HEALS Mission and Services
HEALS Board and Staff
HEALS Board of Directors. The agency has a committed Board of Directors working to maintain and expand the financial and strategic goals of the organization.
HEALS Staff. The HEALS clinics are staffed with a combination of paid and volunteer staff, including nurse physicians, dentists, dental hygienists, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and social service providers.