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Sisters school-based clinic set to expand

Published On: Dec 13 2013 08:49:26 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 13 2013 08:50:42 PM CST
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Deschutes County commissioners  on Wednesday approved funding for a new building to house the Sisters School-Based Health Clinic, one of many operated by Deschutes County.

Valuable partnerships with St. Charles Health System and Advantage Dental will enable operations, officials said.

Currently, the clinic operates out of a small modular building in Sisters. Construction of the new building will begin in January, and is expected to be complete this summer.

The county continues to work with community partners to offer clinic services without duplicating other health services already offered in Sisters.

The school-based clinic will be the first in Central Oregon offering primary medical, oral health, public health and behavioral health services. 

In this time of health reform, county officials say the new clinic is a great example of how health and educational organizations are partnering to help communities, particularly children and families, in this case.  

St. Charles Health System will staff the clinic 10 hours-a-week with family physicians, and will pay half the salary of a full-time receptionist.

“St. Charles and their physicians will serve as the medical sponsor for primary care services which is very generous and critical to the project - we are thrilled with that commitment,” said Deschutes County Health Services Director Scott Johnson.

St. Charles Medical Director of Community Health Strategy Dr. Robert Ross said, “Deschutes County would not have been able to open the clinic without St. Charles’ participation. It’s a small investment by us for a large return for Deschutes County and the Sisters community.”

“We are thrilled that St. Charles is sponsoring the SBHC, and greatly appreciative of the work Deschutes County Health management has done to help make the clinic a reality. The triangle of health services-dental, behavioral, and public health-is imperative to the success of students here in Sisters,” said Sisters School District Superintendent Jim Golden.

Providing oral health care and prevention services at the new location will be Advantage Dental.

“Advantage Dental is pleased to participate in this unique collaboration with the community of Sisters. Setting behavioral health, physical, and oral health within a school environment fits the new ‘mantra’ of health care. Taking health care to the patient not only provides better access, but saves costs and loss of school time,” said Advantage Dental President & CEO Mike Shirtcliff.

For more information about the expansion of the Sisters School-Based Health Clinic, please call the Deschutes County Health Department at (541) 322-7422 or (541) 322-7405. #


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