Superintendent Tom Seigel helps cut the ribbon on the pharmacy and dental clinic at the Community Health Care facility in Spanaway.
The School Board recently met with representatives from Community Health Care who are looking at increasing their services inside the Bethel School District.
With a clinic already in Spanaway, Community Health Care is interested in potentially opening a small clinic at Bethel Middle School in an old, unused kitchen located behind the main building. It’s a unique idea, but both the Board and the representatives from Community Health Care were passionate about bringing more services to our students.
“I have a dream that every kid in Pierce County would have access to health care,” said Community Health Care’s Dr. Jeff Reynolds.
Community Health Care is also considering building a clinic near the Bethel Learning Center to better serve students at Shining Mountain, Bethel Middle and Bethel High, as well as the community at large.
Of course, this all requires money, which is where the hangup is at the moment. But Community Health Care is looking into funding opportunities. While they weigh those options, they are already providing dental services for students at a number of our schools.
This idea of making health care more accessible falls right into the district’s new Strategic Plan, specifically Goal 4: Equitable Opportunities for all Students. Community Health Care is one of the many organizations we are working with to bring medical services closer to our students and their families.
“We have been working on this for years and years,” said board member Brenda Rogers. “I’ve been on this board for 15 years and it’s always been a conversation. We have always been invested in bringing services to our kids any way we can.”
“When you have single parent homes ... just to know parents could come in a half hour before school starts and knock that appointment out, it’s very accommodating,” said board member Marcus Young.
Also discussed was the positive impact this new clinic would have on homeless students in the district, as well as homeless families in the community.
Community Health Care started as a free clinic in 1969 in Hilltop. They now have five community health centers in Pierce County. They are a non-profit organization that uses an affordable, sliding fee scale so they don’t have to turn anyone away.