The money will be used to strengthen mental health access and for improvements to the facility.

Forest Grove's school-based health center was recently awarded $100,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to increase mental health access for students and make improvements to the facility.

"School-based health centers provide access to essential health care services that improve student wellbeing and their ability and

readiness to learn," said HRSA Administrator George Sigounas in a release.

The health center, located next to Forest Grove High School at 1715 Nichols Lane, is open to all community members who live or attend school in the Forest Grove, Banks and Gaston school districts, up to the age of 21.

Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, the Forest Grove School District and the City of Forest Grove worked together to develop and write the grant to ensure that the funds would be maximized without duplicating efforts, according to Paje Stelling, Virginia Garcia's SBHC relations manager .

"Everyone deserves to access healthcare in a beautiful, up-to-date healthcare facility," said Lacey Beaty, Virginia Garcia's school-based health center director, in the release. "This is a showing of Virginia Garcia's commitment to serve and support the students of Forest Grove, Banks, and Gaston without the use of taxpayer dollars. We see this as investing in the success and outcomes of the students and families we serve."

The grant will be used to ensure confidential access is in place for those seeking mental health services, as well as staff trained to support them, Stelling said. Improvements to the clinic are expected to begin in June of this year.

Virginia Garcia was one of just three organizations in the state to receive a grant.

By Olivia Singer
Reporter, Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Follow Olivia at @oliviasingerr
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