Mountain Family Health Centers and the Roaring Fork School District announced a new partnership Thursday to expand school-based healthcare.
The district currently offers five school-based clinics. The partnership with Mountain Family Health Centers will allow the center's physicians to provide students with medical, dental and behavoiral health care at those five clinics, as well as open a sixth one at Glenwood Springs High School.
The partnership was formed after the Roaring Fork School District contracted with Colorado Association for School-Based Health Care to conduct an assessment of health care needs during the 2018-19 school year. It found there was a gap in health services in Glenwood Springs, a need for increasing access to care for children under 18 years old and a need for health care services in the district.
Roaring Fork School District superintendent Rob Stein said offering school-based care helps the district address those concerns.
"We want every student to have access to affordable, comprehensive, integrated health care services, regardless of their legal status, family circumstance, place of residence or economic means," Stein said in a press release.
Ross Brooks, CEO of Mountain Family Health Centers, said students typically receive care during school hours, which helps eliminate some barriers for families accessing care.
"In the grand scheme of things, what's great is being able to go for a twenty minute medical check-up in the school there takes me out of school for much less time than if I'm taking the whole afternoon off," Brooks said.
The six school-based clinics will be in Basalt High School, Basalt Elementary School, Basalt Middle School, Roaring Fork High School and Glenwood Springs High Schools. Students attending a school that does not have a clinic can access care at any of the school-based health centers in the district.
Brooks said they will also offer resources for district families to help apply for health insurance, financial assistance and to access care at other Mountain Family Health locations in the Roaring Fork Valley.
The operating costs for the new partnership will be covered by the Colorado Health Foundation, Delta Dental Community Care Foundation and other local partners.
Spanish translation of this story is made possible by a grant from the Google News Initiative’s Journalism Emergency Relief Fund.