Hood River Valley High School School-Based Health Center Now Open to All Hood River County Students

Expanded access to medical and behavioral health care benefits all in-district youth.

HOOD RIVER, Ore., August 30, 2016 — With school now in session, all students in Hood River County School District have a new option for medical and behavioral health care. The School-Based Health Center (SBHC) at Hood River Valley High School is officially announcing the expansion of these health services to any student residing within Hood River County.

“We are expanding services to include all students within the school district because healthy students learn best,” says Lynne Frost, Administrator and Medical Director for the SBHC, which is one of three locations operated by One Community Health, a nonprofit Federally Qualified Health Center with facilities in Hood River and The Dalles. “Offering access to all students promotes greater access to health care services to keep kids healthy, and this better positions them to be successful in school. It’s a win-win all around.”

The SBHC, which sits on the high school’s southwest corner, operates in sync with the Hood River County School District’s (HRCSD) calendar. It’s backed by a small but mighty team that, in addition to Frost, includes Heather Nielsen, Licensed Professional Counselor; Sarah Dang, Family Nurse Practitioner; Christina Ayala, Team Assistant; and Melody Farrell, Certified Medical Assistant. (Shown here, left to right.)

“The care provided by the SBHC team follows evidence-based guidelines that emphasize prevention, education, and empowering students and families to making healthy decisions around their long-term health,” Frost says. “Great health care is more than clinical excellence, however. We must also ensure students will have a very positive experience when visiting the health center.”

For example, OCH welcomed recent volunteer efforts for improving the SBHC grounds, which now gives the building a more inviting look and feel. In addition, arrival and check-in procedures have been established for off-site students wishing to access care at the SBHC.

“Broadening access to physical and mental health services to our entire student body is an important strategy aimed at decreasing absenteeism and increasing student achievement for students who have predictable barriers to care,” says HRCSD Superintendent Dan Goldman.

All students, including those in preschool, homeschooled or in Head Start, are welcome at the SBHC. Walk-ins will be accepted, but it’s recommended that students who are not currently enrolled at the high school make an appointment if possible. Students who know they will likely use the SBHC during the school year are encouraged to register in advance.

Of note, there are a few requirements for certain services, some based on age. Given this, the SBHC team specializes in serving the needs of students while following Oregon’s statutes regarding minors’ ability to self-consent for care.

“We strive to create a nurturing environment where students feel safe to receive their care and that respects their confidentiality and also encourages parental involvement as much as possible,” Frost says. “We work closely with students to encourage continuity of care with their primary care providers and other health professionals who serve the needs of mutual patients.”

Based on Oregon law, students may self-consent for the following care:

  • General primary and dental care beginning at age 15
  • • Mental health services beginning at age 14
  • • Reproductive health care at any age

Students from other campuses may need a parent or guardian present when accessing care during health center hours at the high school. Anyone with questions about hours of operation is encouraged to call the SBHC for more information. Here are the details:

Center Location: Hood River Valley High School, 1220 Indian Creek Road, Hood River, OR 97031.

Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., when school is in session, following the Hood River County School District Annual School Calendar.

Appointments (Walk-ins Welcome): 541-308-8345; 541-386-6380, after hours. Please note, off-campus students must first obtain a visitor's badge at the high school’s front office prior to their appointment.

More information: call 541-308-8345; 541-386-6380, after hours.

About One Community Health

One Community Health (OCH) is a nonprofit, federally qualified health center with locations in The Dalles and Hood River, Ore. Formerly known as La Clínica del Cariño Family Health Care Center, Inc., it was founded in 1986 and, today, has evolved into an official Patient-Centered Primary Care Home. Today, OCH provides services to over 10,000 patients. In addition, OCH excels in providing proactive educational programs and support that sustain its integrated approach to health and wellbeing. Dedicated to advancing health and social justice for all its community members, OCH serves patients from the Mid-Columbia River Gorge Region: Wasco, Hood River, Klickitat and Skamania Counties. For more information, click here or visit: http://www.onecommunityhealth.org/.

*This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Media Contact

Katie Roberts

Communications Developer, One Community Health

(303) 709-2912 • kroberts@onecommunityhealth.org