The new school based health center is now open at the Vernonia School.
The clinic, which opened on January 11, 2013, has a name, Spencer Health and Wellness. It will provide primary care visits for illness and injury, prescriptions, sports physicals, and immunizations and promote preventive care and wellness. There will be a reception area, private exam/counseling room, a lab area, bathroom, and confidential and secure record keeping area. Mental Health services will also be provided at the clinic through a contract the School District has arranged independently with a professional mental health councilor available.
In addition to primary care treatment, the clinic will offer screening services that include blood pressure, vision, hearing and scoliosis as well as minor dental screenings and preventive treatment. The clinic will have the capacity to write prescriptions and administer over the counter and prescription medications.
The clinic will also provide reproductive health services including pap exams, pelvic exams, testicular exams, pregnancy testing and counseling and Sexually Transmitted Disease/ Sexually Transmitted Infections (STD/STI) treatment and prevention including condom availability for STD/pregnancy prevention use.
The clinic operation is being overseen by the Public Health Foundation of Columbia County. Medical oversight is provided by Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). The clinic will initially be open to patients on Tuesday’s and Friday’s from 7:30 AM to 1:30 PM. More days could be added in the future if needed.
Tera Roberts, a Family Nurse Practitioner who holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree will be the care provider. Roberts is part of the OHSU staff and faculty.
Although the clinic is not fully functioning, the doors are open and patients may be seen. “All of our equipment is pretty much here,” said Roberts on the opening day. A grand opening will be held sometime in February.
Roberts says the clinic is still waiting for a refrigerator to be delivered and is unable to store and give vaccinations until that arrives.
The 7:30 AM start time allows students who wants to come in early and not miss any class time. It will also help accommodate parents who want to be with their child when they are seen by the provider.
Roberts says she is especially excited about a new electronic charting system that will be used to track patient medical records. Spencer Health and Wellness will use the EPIC electronic medical records system, which is widely used throughout medical systems and allows providers to share medical histories quickly and efficiently. The new electronic system will also be used at the Vernonia Health Center which is scheduled to open on February 19.
“With this EPIC system we are able to access records from other systems that use EPIC,” says Roberts. “If they are patients that have been in the Providence system or the OHSU system it will make it a lot more seamless for us and the patients.”
Appointments at Spencer Health and Wellness can be scheduled by calling 503-429-1399. The clinic will also take walk-in appointments.