Summer Health Care for K-12 Students Gets a Boost from Nurses

SPOKANE, Wash. — Getting and staying healthy over the summer months just got a lot easier for students and families in Spokane School District #81.

School-based summer health clinics, staffed by nurse practitioners and registered nurses from the Intercollegiate Center for Nursing Education/ Washington State University College of Nursing and Community Health Association of Spokane, will be available two days a week beginning June 19.

The Pediatric Outreach Project, funded by a grant from Agilent Technologies, will provide health care to students and families, regardless of their ability to pay, throughout the summer at Shaw and Garry Middle schools.

“Students of Shaw, Garry or any other District #81 school, and family members, can visit the POP clinics and receive primary health care services, sports physicals, immunizations and a host of other health-related services needed over the summer and in preparation for the school year,” said Loly Reyes, outreach services manager at the ICNE Clinic located at the YWCA.

Beginning June 19 and continuing through Aug. 19, the POP will be set up at the middle schools on Mondays and Thursdays from 4-8 p.m. Care will be provided on Mondays at Garry Middle School by CHAS personnel, and Thursdays at Shaw Middle School by nurses from the ICNE Clinic.

The summer POP will pick up where a successful 12-week pilot, which ended June 15, left off. The POP pilot, sponsored by Holy Family Hospital, was held at Audubon and Holmes Elementary schools. “We were able help more than 40 students and family members during the pilot,” said Reyes. “We’re hoping a funding source is available again in the fall, so we can continue to provide needed health care services to these families.”

The ICNE Clinic at the YWCA provides health care services to families throughout the region. The clinic also provides health care services to the estimated 120,000 underinsured or uninsured children and adults in Spokane County. The ICNE Clinic, founded and operated by nurses from the ICNE/WSU College of Nursing, fills a huge need within the community.

Reyes is coordinating research and developing outreach programs that provide care to a growing segment of underserved and uninsured residents. Community donors, faculty, staff and students from the ICNE/WSU College of Nursing are the driving force behind the outreach efforts. “The tendency to go directly to a hospital emergency room is significantly reduced through our outreach efforts, mobile clinics and the POP,” said Reyes.

Celebrating 30 years of nursing education, the ICNE/WSU College of Nursing offers baccalaureate, graduate and professional development course work to nursing students enrolled through its four consortium partners: Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University, WSU and Whitworth College. For more information, visit the Web site at .