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Friday, October 14, 2011 - New Teen Clinic Opens at Forest Area Schools

New Teen Clinic Opens at Forest Area Schools

Kalkaska Memorial Health Center expands teen services

Kalkaska Memorial Health Center’s Teen Health Corner recently expanded into a second clinic at Forest Area Schools.

Since 2006, students in the school district have been eligible to use the Teen Health Corner clinic located at Kalkaska. Operations for the new center will be funded with a grant and in-kind matching funds from the school district and hospital.

Kalkaska Memorial Health Center Chief Operating Officer Sheila Atwood said the new clinic will be open three days a week and the hospital has hired physician assistant Sara Smith, P.A.-C, to provide health services along with nurse Joanna Durfee, R.N.

“It’s a great convenience for families in the Forest Area school district,” she said. “The biggest component is promoting health education and wellness to young people ages 10 through 21.”

As with the clinic in Kalkaska, the new facility is designed to make teens feel comfortable. There are no sterile paper gowns and sheets. Fleece blankets, cloth gowns, and fluffy pillows comfort teens that might be uncomfortable with any procedure they are about to undergo.

Students are treated for age-appropriate health services that include primary care for illness, preventative services, immunizations, physicals, health education, and referrals for specialty care.  A mental health counselor will be available during clinic hours two days a week. Advantages to families include convenient scheduling and walk-in appointments.

The clinic is located in a red portable building next to the high school/middle school. Clinic hours are Mondays 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; Tuesdays, 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.; and Thursdays from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


“Our students now have access to health care right here by our building” said John Smith, superintendent of Forest Area Schools. He said prior to working with the clinic in Kalkaska, the district had no school nurse. Now the on-campus clinic will make immunizations and other health care services much more convenient.

“Students also will have health counseling services through the Teen Health Corner,” he said.

While the Teen Health Corner clinics are primarily offered to students age 10 - 21 at Kalkaska and Forest Area schools, home schooled and charter school students are encouraged to use the clinics as well.

Operational grants for the clinics come through the Michigan Department of Community Health. There are 58 state-funded, school-based, and school-linked health centers in Michigan.

For more information about the Teen Health Corner clinics, or to make an appointment, call (231) 369-2000 at Forest Area Schools, and (231) 258-7791 in Kalkaska.