MARQUETTE - Fully operational since Dec. 15, the newly constructed Gwinn Teen Clinic offers a number of medical services available to students right in their own Gwinn High School.
The clinic underwent renovations and an expansion, turning the former two-room clinic without running water into a fully functioning health clinic able to offer a wide variety of services, from vaccinations to lab tests, treatment for acute injuries to management of chronic medical illnesses.
The clinic also offers mental health services.
Tina Bambach, family medical nurse practitioner, examines a student at the Gwinn Teen Clinic in the Gwinn High School in October 2011. The clinic has undergone a complete renovation since its opening in 2011 which also included a 985-square-foot expansion. (Journal file photo)
Corrine Brownell, Marquette County Health Department's clinic director, said in an interview during the clinic's open house held earlier this month that the clinic is a great way to provide medical and other health services to a school population that is often transient.
"Our goal is to keep kids in school," Brownell said. "If you keep them healthy and keep them in school, they're more likely to succeed."
The renovation and expansion of the existing clinic, which had been operating since October 2011, was made possible by a $500,000 grant from the School-Based Health Center Capital Program.
The program provides school-based health centers with resources for construction, renovation and equipment needs to improve children's access to basic health services.
The clinic is available for Gwinn students age 10-21 a minimum of 30 hours per week, run by a physician assistant under the direction of a licensed physician.
Charges for services are based on a sliding fee scale. While some services may be billed to health insurances, no one will be refused services due to an inability to pay. If a family does not have insurance, the clinic is a qualified agency to provide assistance with the application process for MIChild, Medicaid and Healthy Kids..
Families that enroll at the clinic find out if they qualify immediately following the enrollment process, which takes less than 30 minutes.
Children under 19 years of age may also be eligible for health and dental care through MIChild and Healthy Kids.
MIChild costs $10 a month per family. Healthy Kids is a free program, though it does require some co-pays for certain services for those 21 years old or older.
The clinic is also enrolled in the Vaccines for Children program, which administers vaccines to kids from birth through 18 years of age.
Anyone with questions regarding the clinic should contact the clinic at 372-4002, or the Marquette County Health Department at 475-7844.
Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.