Education

Healthcare access for the Beachwood community will soon be as easy as going to school

How communities can come together to deal with trauma and avoid chronic diseases

Health Net organized a forum at the Greater Sacramento Urban League, Friday, July 20, where school and health officials and interested community members talked about the connection between trauma and chronic illnesses.
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Health Net organized a forum at the Greater Sacramento Urban League, Friday, July 20, where school and health officials and interested community members talked about the connection between trauma and chronic illnesses.

Students, their families and the community around Joe Stefani Elementary will be able to get medical care right at the school starting next year, according to school officials.

Golden Valley Health Centers is opening a health center right next to the school at 2768 Ranchero Lane in the Beachwood area of Merced County, expected to open in January 2020 on school days between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., according to a news release.

The health center will offer physical, dental, mental and preventative services, along with treatment for illnesses, chronic conditions and diabetes, according to the release. Screenings for dental, vision and hearing issues will also be available.

The health center will staff primary care doctors, nurses, physician assistants, a behavioral health provider, a dentist, hygienist, medical assistants, dental assistants and a receptionist, the release states.

“We believe this will not just help students, but by tending to these needs at school, we are also supporting parents,” said Tony Weber, Golden Valley CEO.

Other school districts in Merced County have provided school-based health centers. Livingston High School has enjoyed healthcare on campus with Livingston Community Health for the past several years.

The health center will operate out of a modular unit, similar in design to the campus, on property leased by the Merced City School District, according to the release.

The school district board voted to approve the land use on March 12. One key reason is research showing that school-based health centers improve attendance and graduation rates, the release states, also adding more importance to prevention, early intervention and healthy habits.

“Attendance is a key factor in academic success,” said RoseMary Parga Duran, Merced City School District superintendent. “And we believe this center will help our students spend more time learning and maximizing their potential so they can thrive in school and later in life.”

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