School-Based Health Clinics Make Their Way to Western Slope
KREX News Room
MONTROSE, Colo.- School-based clinics around Colorado are changing the way kids get health care. The clinics make various services more accessible at no cost. Although the majority of the clinics are on the Front Range, more have begun to establish themselves on the Western Slope.
The Northside Child Health Center in Montrose is a shining example.
Jennifer Suchon, a nurse practitioner and the health director at Northside Child Health Center, said, "We do know that kids who have untreated medical conditions are unable to concentrate, and they aren't able to achieve. By improving their health, we can improve their success in school and hopefully in the future."
The Northside school-based clinic treats individuals from birth to high school, providing a range of services from dental to mental health care.
"When they enroll we ask them where they previously went for medical care, and most said that they didn't go anywhere," Suchon said.
Patricia Edstrom with family outreach for the Montrose school district said, "They feel comfortable and live with a different feeling knowing that there's a way they can get the help they need."
Now the clinic wants to help parents. It already provides dental services to parents.
Edstrom said, "[They've gone] a lot of years without seeing a dentist and their problems are bigger because of that."
"We're helping parents understand the importance of a healthy mouth. We hope to improve the oral health in those families, and the same concept would apply to physical and mental health as well," said Suchon.
"They want to take care of their kids, but part of health is a family issue," Edstrom said.
Many say that by keeping kids healthy the entire community benefits.
Suchon said, "The community can be served, and public health improves because of that. The success of the community improves if we have smarter kids and kids that are staying in school."
The unique clinic is always accepting new patients. Staff members hope to improve the lives of families even more moving forward.
Officials want to remind parents that their child doesn't need to attend Northside to go to the clinic.
The clinic also be opening a flu shot clinic soon.
For more information you can call the clinic: 970-240-6438.