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In this video screenshot, David Interian, Reynolds High School Junior, talks about the benefits of the new health center now open in his school.
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 04 January 2021

TROUTDALE, OR – Multnomah County and the Reynolds School District are pleased to announce the opening of the new Student Health Center at Reynolds High School on Jan. 4, 2021. The opening culminates a long-awaited effort to bring to East County much-needed, high-quality primary care and mental health services that are easily accessible and affordable.

“At a time when health is our highest concern, we look forward to the opening of this Student Health Center to help take care of our children and youth,” says Dr. Danna Diaz, superintendent of schools for Reynolds School District. “We are thrilled to partner with Multnomah County to bring a Student Health Center to Reynolds High School.

"We know that if our students are healthy, they can better focus on learning.”

Reynolds School District is home to the largest number of Medicaid-insured youth in Multnomah County. It is also home to the greatest concentration of youth ages 11-19 without insurance and access to basic health services, such as annual exams and mental health counseling, according to a 2017 report commissioned by the county and a similar report by Health Share of Oregon and the State Adolescent and Student Health unit.

'A safe place'

“I am so proud of this partnership that in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Health Department worked with this school community, our partners and the larger community to open this health center,’’ says Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury. “Our kids have lost so much and have had to adapt to so much, this new Student Health Center will not only provide excellent physical health care, but a safe space where students can talk about their experience with a professional, in-person or virtually.”

“Student Health Centers bring critical health care services to children and adolescents in the school system,” says Tasha Wheatt-Delancy, executive director of the Multnomah County Health Center, the largest Federally Qualified Health Center in Oregon with 23 sites, including nine Student Health Centers in the Centennial, David Douglas, Parkrose, Portland Public, and now Reynolds School Districts. “This is an important step in addressing health care inequities for youth in Reynolds School District."

Services available for all County students

The new 2,493-square-foot health center includes four exam rooms, dental hygiene services, mental health counseling and a lab. Staff will provide comprehensive preventative, primary, dental and mental health care for children and youth ages 5-18. And while the new center is geared primarily toward school-age youth living in Reynolds School District, any child or youth living in Multnomah County can receive services.

“This health center will allow students in Reynolds School District and all school-aged students in Multnomah County to access basic health services such as immunizations, lab tests, counseling, and annual exams,” says Alexandra Lowell, Student Health Center Program Manager.  “Our focus on access — by being located in schools — and the fact that there is no out-of-pocket cost, make us a great health care option for families, whether or not they have a primary care provider.”

The Student Health Center at Reynolds High School will operate five days a week, offering in-person, phone and video visits. (Thursdays offer virtual appointments only). The center serves students with or without insurance and can help families check if they qualify for the Oregon Health Plan or other insurance.

“I’m really excited about this new Student Health Center,” says Daniel Interian, a Reynolds High School junior. “I can just walk down the hall to this amazing new center and access mental, dental and medical health services without any cost.”

About Reynolds School District

The 11th largest school district in the state of Oregon, Reynolds serves a culturally diverse population of 11,000 students in 16 public and three charter schools with over 100 languages and dialects represented. The total minority enrollment at Reynolds High School is 64 percent, while 50 percent of students are economically disadvantaged, according to US News Best High School Rankings.

About Multnomah County Student Health Centers

Student Health Centers are like having a doctor’s office in schools. They provide high-quality, easily accessible primary care and mental health services to ALL students in Multnomah County at nine high schools in the Portland Public Schools, Centennial, David Douglas, Parkrose and Reynolds school districts. These include: Centennial, David Douglas, Parkrose, Reynolds, Roosevelt, Franklin, Jefferson, Cleveland and Madison (at Marshall) high schools. Reynolds brings to four the number of Student Health Centers currently open while students are engaged in distance learning. The other open centers are at David Douglas, Parkrose and Roosevelt high schools. For more information, visit their website at https://multco.us/health/student-health-centers.

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