FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, March 8, 2023
Grand Junction— Officials of MarillacHealth learned last night that the District 51 Board of Education failed to support a School Based Health Center being included within the new Grand Junction High School. The School Board rejected the School Based Health Center with a vote of 3-2. Planning for the walk-in clinic began in 2018 when a comprehensive survey revealed extensive unmet health care needs throughout the Grand Junction High School population of 1400 students, particularly in mental health. Earlier this year, a team at MarillacHealth submitted a planning grant application to the State of Colorado, in preparation to move forward.
In support of Marillac’s push for opening a School Based Health Center at Grand Junction High School, top leaders from Mesa County’s hospitals and health care organizations were joined by community members and students from three local high schools who urged the School Board to approve the clinic. Marillac opened a similar School Based Health Center at Central High School in 2020, which has grown in popularity and use over the past 3 years. In recent weeks, many students from Central High School testified how Central’s Warrior Wellness Center has improved their health, quality of life and educational experience.
One alternative plan was briefly explored. “Two Board of Education members approached Marillac and suggested we occupy a modular building about 1 ½ blocks from the new school entrance. Due to the fact that privacy, safety and walk-in accessibility are so important for students, as best practices for any School Based Health Center, that option was unfortunately ruled out,” explained Kay Ramachandran, Marillac’s Chief Executive Officer. “Because Marillac assumed the cost of internal construction and ongoing operations, the proposed clinic represented a high-value gift to the new high school, its students and staff. Despite the disappointing outcome, we are deeply honored by many leaders, citizens and students who advocated for the School Based Health Center at Grand Junction High School.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Kristy Schmidt, 970-200-1630
Chief Development Officer
About Marillac Health
Marillac Health is a non-profit, Federally Qualified Community Health Center in Mesa County Colorado, providing integrated primary medical, behavioral health, and dental care to 10,000-12,000 individuals with 45,000 visits annually. For over 35 years, Marillac has provided health care services to Mesa County residents who are lower income, uninsured, or underinsured. Marillac’s mission is to provide a wide scope of primary health care services to all Mesa County residents regardless of income or insurance status. All ages are welcomed at MarillacHealth. Services are provided at three main clinic locations: 2333 N 6th Street. 2139 N. 12th Street, and also a co-location site within the Mesa County Public Health Dept. at 510 29 ½ Rd. In 2020, MarillacHealth opened a school-based health center at Central High School, which in 2021-2022 served over 800 individuals. For information or to schedule a healthcare appointment, call 970-200-1600. Services are also provided at outreach locations including Grand Valley Catholic Outreach Day Center, Western Colorado Pediatric Associates. www.MarillacHealth.org