EUGENE, Ore. - The Bethel Student Health Center opened up to very little fanfare last May, but since then the center at Cascade Middle School has provided a health care safety net for more kids than anticipated.
After a year, the center is closing in on 700 student visits.
"We do urgent care; we do acute visits, take care of chronic illnesses such as obesity and asthma," said Wendy Lang, LPN.
All Bethel District students, their younger siblings, children of Bethel students and Head Start kids can get help there.
Funds come from donations, federal and state grants, billing of private insurance and the Oregon Health Plan.
Lang says one-third of kids have no insurance coverage. Those who can pay a small fee.
"Nobody is turned away for lack of ability to pay," said Annemarie Hirsch, director of the health center.
That's an important point for the students who visit from nearby Willamette High School.
"I know a lot of students who otherwise would not be able to afford to come or to seek medical attention can come here even if they don't have insurance," senior Xenia Nava said.
Hirsch hopes in the coming school year they can expand mental health services and HPV virus vaccines.
"We are helping students stay healthy and stay in class," she said.
Lack of money limits the days the health center is open to just 3 days a week. If they can get additional grants, directors hope to expand those days and hours by next year.