74
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      School-based health center gets money for expansion

      The Wexford Adolescent Wellness Center is located at Cadillac Junior High School and serves people ages 10-21, regardless of whether they have insurance or not.

      A school-based county health clinic that provides affordable healthcare to hundreds of young people, has expanded to better serve their patients.

      The Wexford Adolescent Wellness Center is located at Cadillac Junior High School and serves people ages 10-21, regardless of whether they have insurance or not. They must live in, or go to school in Wexford County.

      The clinic first opened in 2010 and was operating on about 12-hundred square feet of space. In December of 2012 they received federal funding to do some renovations, and now they're serving their patients in nearly double the space.

      "I think access is the key to the school based health centers," said Adolescent Health Coordinator, Katy Bies. "Parents aren't having to leave work to take their kids to the doctor or take the kids to counselors or to get their immunizations. We can provide all of that right in the school."

      The wellness center received $426,000 from the US Department of Health and Human Services.

      Officials say the renovations started in June and included the addition of a lab, exam rooms, and an education room where patients learn about nutrition and exercise. They were also able to make the entire clinic handicap accessible.

      Health officials at the wellness center had about 15-hundred patient visits last year. They estimate that the extra space will all them to increase their numbers by at least 500 visits.

      To celebrate the makeover, the Wexford Adolescent Wellness Center is holding an open house on Thursday from 3:30-6:30 p.m.. The community is invited to come and take a tour of the center and meet the staff.