School-based health center to expand
Last updated 10/3/2023 at 10:32am
The Sisters School-Based Health Center (SBHC), located adjacent to Sisters High School, will soon expand its operations from two days a week to four days a week, thanks to a partnership between Mosaic Community Health, St. Charles Health System, and Deschutes County.
On October 18, Mosaic will assume operations of the health center, which is currently operated by St. Charles Health System in a building owned by Deschutes County.
“We are thrilled to be able to provide additional access to pediatric patients in Sisters by offering expanded hours for the health center,” said Tamarra Harris, pediatrics manager for Mosaic. “In addition to a pediatric-trained medical provider, we also plan to have a full-time behavioral health consultant on-site. We want to thank our community partners, St. Charles and Deschutes County, for supporting this transition, which will benefit our community.”
Under Mosaic, which operates six additional SBHCs throughout Central Oregon, the health center will provide a pediatric-trained medical provider, a full-time behavioral health consultant, a community health worker, plus clinical pharmacy, Oregon Health Plan enrollment, and nutritionist support. Deschutes County Behavioral Health staff will also be located on-site.
“We believe this transition will benefit the Sisters community and shows the exceptional partnership the medical community has in Central Oregon,” said Emily Salmon, vice president for whole person care and community health at St. Charles. “Ultimately, our goal is to provide the best access possible to medical care in our community and, in this case, that means transitioning the clinic to Mosaic, which has access to federal funding to expand services.”
Since 2015, the Sisters SBHC, located at 535 N. Reed St. in Sisters, has been providing convenient access to quality health care for local pediatric patients—one of the primary goals of SBHCs, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Other goals for SBHCs include:
• Providing patient-centered care for all students, regardless of insurance status.
• Reducing costs related to unnecessary hospital stays and use of emergency rooms.
• Improving education outcomes—because healthy kids learn better.
• Saving parents time by reducing hours of missed work to transport children to appointments.
“School-based health centers provide a great service within Deschutes County, helping eliminate barriers for our youngest residents to receive health care. Together, Mosaic and St. Charles are helping to create a healthier Central Oregon and we applaud our continued partnerships,” said Holly Harris, Deschutes County behavioral health director.
In addition to medical and behavioral health care, providers at Mosaic SBHCs emphasize prevention, early intervention, risk reduction and the development of healthy habits with their young patients. Mosaic SBHCs are open to anyone from birth through age 18; patients do not need to be a student at the school where the SBHC is located.
“We appreciate St. Charles, Deschutes County Health Services, and all of our local partners for working together with us to improve the health of everyone in Central Oregon,” said Elaine Knobbs-Seasholtz, Mosaic director of strategy and development.