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Redmond school clinic first of its kind in Oregon

Published On: Nov 29 2012 08:35:56 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 29 2012 09:14:02 PM CST

NewsChannel 21's Kandra Kent reports on the opening of Oregon's first community clinic based at a school -- M.A. Lynch Elementary in Redmond, which is celebrating its arrival

REDMOND, Ore. -

Come Monday, the Lynch Community Clinic will open at M.A Lynch Elementary in Redmond.

It's the only community medical clinic in Oregon housed in a school.

And school officials say the clinic couldn't have come to a better place at a better time.

"School-based health systems are always in jeopardy, because we have grants we have to get funded," said Redmond school nurse Sue Schmidt. "This was so timely, and I, as a school nurse -- I can't tell you how exciting it is."

Lynch's school-based health system was losing grants and might have had to make cuts. But now, thanks to three partners, it's expanding.

"From a school-based health clinic that only met the needs of our students, it's now the Lynch Community Clinic," and Principal Desiree Margo. "And will include meeting the needs of their families and the community."

The school has the highest rate of children on free and reduced-cost lunch in Deschutes County, and Margo knows if families can't afford to eat, they likely don't have adequate access to healthcare.

"It's the perfect place for this to start, because we already know our families have needs," Margo said. "And medical needs are such a common need, and we know if we can provide for that kids will be in school more, because they'll be healthier."

That's where Mosaic Medical and the Deschutes County Health Services come in.

Although the county has partnered with the school for a few years to provide services for students, the new partnership --and Mosaic --are bringing change.

"Just expanding now to where the parents can get involved, this is my concept of a good health plan," Schmidt said.

Deschutes County Health offical Kate Moore told me because the clinic is located on-campus it means more kids might not miss school and more parents won't miss work.

"A lot of the parents are uninsured, so they were mosaic clients or they had no access to health care," Moore said. "But also, a lot of families didn't have an understanding of the importance of preventative health care."

And by coming together to promote health, these partners see a bright future for this community.

"I know my students are going to be healthier, happier and achieve better," Margo said.

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