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Project Archives - Oregon

School-Based Health Centers in Oregon

Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation in Oregon

A federally-designated Migrant and Community Health Center, Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center was established in 1975 to honor the memory of 6-year-old Virginia Garcia. The daughter of farm workers, Virginia died in a migrant labor camp after injuring her foot and developing blood poisoning. Today, the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center provides linguistically and culturally appropriate primary, dental and vision care services to thousands of patients in Oregon’s Washington and Yamhill counties.

In order to improve patient care across all of its sites, Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center is implementing an integrated Electronic Health Record system (EHR).

This system will give clinicians immediate access to important information about a patient’s medical history, thereby improving their ability to make accurate diagnoses and monitor medications and treatment plans. It will also facilitate a coordinated team approach to care, thus reducing or eliminating redundancies and inefficiencies. Other benefits of EHR include improved continuity of care and reduction of medical errors and adverse events.

In support of this ambitious effort, The Cambia Health Foundation awarded the Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation a $100,000 grant to help pay for core components of the EHR system and staff training.

School-Based Health Centers in Columbia County, Oregon

The State of Oregon’s “Area of Unmet Healthcare Needs Evaluation” rated Columbia County as the most medically underserved county in the entire state. Plus, the area has high poverty rates with many negative health indicators. A $20,000 grant from the Foundation is helping to transform this situation by establishing three new school-based health centers (SBHCs), which increases the total amount of the county’s SBHCs from one to four.

The Columbia Health District Public Health Authority (CHDPHA) is overseeing this project in partnership with other public and private organizations that have come together to solve the health crisis in Columbia County. The purpose of the new SBHCs is to meet the needs of students in the Rainier, St. Helens and Vernonia school districts. At the SBHCs, students have access to affordable physical and mental health assessments, disease prevention, treatment and counseling. CHDPHA hopes to create a safety net for unmet health care needs with the SBHCs, while also influencing healthy lifestyle choices in a young population with identified risks.