Every District 9 high school student can now get needed health care. The School-Based Health Center (SBHC) has been seeing students since Jan.18, but had an official opening on Feb. 15 with an open house and tour of the facilities.
The center has been in the planning stages for several years. “It’s a true collaborative effort, made possible through the support of the community and school personnel, said Peg Crowley, Community Health Center Executive Director.
The center is just beyond the front office and accessible from the outside corridor. It is open during regularly scheduled school days and hours.
An example of services include:
• Urgent care-such as respiratory conditions, fevers, cuts, sprains, nausea, headaches, ear aches.
• Preventative care- such as immunizations, sports physicals, vision, hearing tests and blood pressure, dental screenings.
• Chronic care-Diabetes, asthma, headaches.
• Educational discussion- Smoking, nutrition and so forth.
• Counseling services and outreach assisting in Oregon Healthy Kids Program.
The clinic is open to all students registered at Eagle Point High School. They need to have a parent or guardian signed consent form although the first visit can be done with a call by the SBHC provider to the parent or guardian. Second visit requires the written form.
“The care will come at little to no cost to students or their families,” said Ceci Robe, SBHC manager. She said when available, a student’s health insurance and will be billed for qualified services. Students with no health insurance will be seen on a sliding-fee scale and referred to an eligibility outreach worker for assistance in securing publically-sponsored health insurance, such as the Oregon Heathy Kids Program.
Principal Allen Barber believes the program will help students get medical help quickly, allowing them to miss less time from school due to illness.
With 51 percent of those enrolled at EPHS in households supported by incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, doctor visits often only occur in emergencies.
In Oregon, 55 certified centers in 22 counties served nearly 24,000 students in 2009-10.
Staffing at the facility, in addition to Robe, includes a nurse practitioner/medical assistant, registered nurse/dental hygienist and licensed clinical social workers.
The center is open during regular school days, from 8-3:30 p.m. For information or to make an appointment, call 541-830-6617.
The center is supported by: Gordon R. And Mary M. Howard Family Foundation, Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation, John and Nora Darby Heart Fund, Gordon Elwood Foundation, D-9 Foundation, Reed and Carolee Walker Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, Olive Lansburgh, Fashion Floors, Jackson County School District 9 and the Upper Rogue Independent.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent