Skip to Content

Sisters High’s school-based health center will expand days of operation next month, thanks to partnership

(Update: Adding video, comments from Mosaic Community Health)

SISTERS, Ore. (KTVZ) – The Sisters School-Based Health Center, located adjacent to Sisters High School, will soon expand its operations from two days a week to four days a week, thanks to a partnership between Mosaic Community Health, St. Charles Health System and Deschutes County.

"The city of Sisters has been very excited to have health care expanded for their community. They've heard from a lot of residents that there's a huge need for health care access in Sisters." Elaine Knobbs-Seasholtz, Mosaic's director of strategy and development, said Tuesday.

On Oct. 18, Mosaic will assume operations of the health center, which is currently operated by St. Charles Health System in a building owned by Deschutes County.

Tamarra Harris, pediatrics manager for Mosaic, said, “We are thrilled to be able to provide additional access to pediatric patients in Sisters by offering expanded hours for the health center. In addition to a pediatric-trained medical provider, we also plan to have a full-time behavioral health consultant on site.

Knobbs-Seasholtz said, "There’s often a lot of stigma when anyone, especially kids, feel like there’s something on their mind that’s really bothering them. Maybe their head hurts, maybe their stomach, but they’re able to meet with a medical provider who can say, you know, 'We have someone right on site who could also talk to you about something on your mind weighing on you that’s also impacting your body health.'” 

Under Mosaic, which operates six additional SBHCs throughout Central Oregon, the health center will provide a pediatric-trained medical provider, a full-time behavioral health consultant, a community health worker, plus clinical pharmacy, Oregon Health Plan enrollment and nutritionist support. Deschutes County Behavioral Health staff will also be located on site.

Emily Salmon, vice president for whole person care and community health at St. Charles, “We believe this transition will benefit the Sisters community and shows the exceptional partnership the medical community has in Central Oregon.

“Ultimately, our goal is to provide the best access possible to medical care in our community and, in this case, that means transitioning the clinic to Mosaic, which has access to federal funding to expand services,” Salmon

Since 2015, the Sisters SBHC, located at 535 N. Reed St. in Sisters, has been providing convenient access to quality health care for local pediatric patients — one of the primary goals of SBHCs, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Other goals for SBHCs include:

  • Providing patient-centered care for all students, regardless of insurance status
  • Reducing costs related to unnecessary hospital stays and use of emergency rooms
  • Improving education outcomes—because healthy kids learn better
  • Saving parents time by reducing hours of missed work to transport children to appointments

Utilizing unique public-private partnerships, SBHCs have been operating in the state of Oregon since 1986. There are currently 85 certified SBHCs across Oregon. Mosaic and their school district and county health partners currently operate six of those in Central Oregon, including at Bend High, Mountain View High, Madras High, Redmond High, Lynch Elementary and Crook Kids in Prineville. La Pine Community Health Center operates one SBHC in La Pine.

Deschutes County Behavioral Health Director Holly Harris said, “School-based health centers provide a great service within Deschutes County, helping eliminate barriers for our youngest residents to receive health care. Together, Mosaic and St. Charles are helping to create a healthier Central Oregon, and we applaud our continued partnerships.”

In addition to medical and behavioral health care, providers at Mosaic SBHCs emphasize prevention, early intervention, risk reduction and the development of healthy habits with their young patients. Mosaic SBHCs are open to anyone from birth through age 18; patients do not need to be a student at the school where the SBHC is located.

Knobbs-Seasholtz said, “We appreciate St. Charles, Deschutes County Health Services and all of our local partners for working together with us to improve the health of everyone in Central Oregon.”

The SBHCs will provide care for all young people in Deschutes County. Services will never be denied based on insurance coverage or the ability to pay.

Article Topic Follows: Sisters

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Jillian Fortner

Jillian Fortner is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jillianhere.


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content