14:19 PM

CareATC: How to Get Started With CareATC and Counseling Sessions


CareATC can be your home for acute medical services, preventative screenings and management of chronic conditions – with same-day appointments available – for no more than $10 per visit.

Cook Children’s contracts with CareATC as an employee benefit offering affordable primary care, convenient locations and prompt scheduling. There are five locations in the North Texas area, including one near Cook Children’s Medical Center.

“CareATC makes it as easy as possible. There’s less wait time, and you can get in a lot quicker,” said Shital Chavda, M.D., who works out of the clinic at 500 S. Henderson St., less than a mile from our hospital. “It takes a lot of that burden out, making it more accessible.’

Dr. Chavda and Cassandra Muff, FNP-BC, are the providers at the Fort Worth-Henderson location. Since opening in December 2020, the partnership has served more than 2,500 Cook Children’s employees and their covered family members (spouses and adult dependents). Many individuals come to CareATC for screenings, sick visits, diabetes and cholesterol management, and other needs in-person at the clinic or virtually. 

Any visit is 100% covered by Cook Children’s if you are enrolled in the HRA or EPO plans. For those enrolled in the HSA1 and HSA2 plans, the cost for a diagnostic visit is only $10. Employees not enrolled in a Cook Children’s medical plan are still allowed to use these benefits for $10 per visit.

Appointments are required and can be made on the CareATC mobile app, the Patient Portal at www.careatc.com/patients, or by calling 1-800-993-8244. Established patients may schedule virtual visits by computer or phone. Same-day appointments are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

To get started, activate your CareATC patient account by visiting www.careatc.com/activate or downloading the CareATC app and following the prompts. It's important that each eligible member aged 18 and older creates his or her own account. For more information, visit careatc.com/cc.

The staff at Cook Children’s are urged to come in for checkups and care to prevent minor irritations from becoming bigger issues.

“If you tweaked your knee running six months ago and have put it off and don’t come to see us until you can’t walk right and perform normal daily activities, now you’re looking at a potential surgical problem,” Cassandra said. “Same thing with abdominal pain. If we don’t evaluate that and find the cause and the fix quickly, then it can escalate to an ER visit or a hospitalization. It’s much easier to take the time to figure things out in the beginning than to deal with the consequences of ignoring it.”

Mental Health Services

Employees at Cook Children’s can also take advantage of free counseling sessions available through the Employee Assistance Program. Benefits include six sessions per incident, per calendar year for employees, their adult dependents and minor children. 

Alicia Hooper, LCSW, offices out of the CareATC Fort Worth-Henderson location and is available to work with adults, couples and adolescents ages 12 and older.

Schedule an appointment with Alicia by calling the EAP main phone number, 1-800-395-1616. If this is your first time contacting the EAP, you will create an employee profile before speaking with a case manager. The wait time for an appointment varies, but you can usually be seen within two or three weeks.

“Pick up the phone and call. They may be able to get you in today,” Alicia said. She wants to help her clients acquire healthy coping techniques to deal with stress, depression, grief or other mental health challenges. Regular appointments are 50-minute sessions. 

Alicia’s in-person hours mimic the CareATC clinic’s hours: Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

She urges everyone to utilize this Cook Children’s benefit. Don’t allow an emotional struggle to fester and potentially escalate. 

“If you are struggling, if you have had thoughts that are alarming to you -- thoughts that you've never had before or thoughts that you've been living with for a really long time -- if you are feeling anxious and unsupported,” make the call, Alicia said. “Recognize that we can't get help if we continue to just go along like everything's OK.”