On Monday, NorthShore Health Centers, in partnership with Portage Township Schools, officially opened their new health and wellness center in Portage High School. The new collaborative clinic will serve Portage Township Schools' insured employees and their families, and will help to lessen out-of-pocket medical costs for employees.
Leading the way as the first official patient to be seen at the new clinic inside Portage High School was Superintendent Dr. Richard Weigel who said, “I figured if you’re leading the way, you’ve got lead from the front.”
“It’s basically NorthShore Health Centers in partnership with Portage Township Schools,” said Weigel. “It’s unique and the first of its kind. It’s going to serve all of the Portage Township School Districts insured employees and their families. It’s called the Portage Township Schools Health & Wellness Center.”
“The district with the teachers union has been working on it for well over six years,” said Weigel. “This past year, in collaboration with the Portage Association of Teachers and Mrs. Deb Porter, we came up with how we could pursue this and then working with NorthShore, and Mr. Todd Elliot, we came up with ideas.”
The collaborative effort between NorthShore Health Centers and Portage Townships Schools has been in the works since November.
“Dr. Weigel is our very first patient and this week we’re doing some trial runs with the admin staff and some union officials today and tomorrow,” said NorthShore’s Director of Development, Todd Elliott. “Officially, on August 1st, we’re going to open up for all employees.”
Deb Richardson, Board Certified Nurse Practitioner in Family Practice who will be seeing patients at the new Portage Township Schools Health & Wellness Center, was excited about the opening and is looking forward to caring for Portage school employees as well as their children and families.
“When I interviewed with the school, that was one of the things that I asked,” said Richardson in regards to working with the children of PTS employees. “There are some practitioners who don’t take care of little ones and I’ve always enjoyed taken care of the little ones. My job here is to care for everyone from the infant to however old, employees and their families, from wellness to illness; the full spectrum.”
The new Health & Wellness Center opens up inside the offices of the Stacy McKay Health and Education Center which was originally opened in 1995 as a teen clinic for Portage High School students. The original teen clinic also serves as the place where NorthShore Health Centers originated.
“NorthShore started as a teen clinic here and we’ll still be seeing students when needed during school hours at McKay, but how it’s different is that the new Health & Wellness Center will be specifically for PHS staff and their families,” said NorthShore’s Director of Marketing, Tricia Hall.
PHS employees will be able to take advantage of the services and resources that NorthShore Health Centers offer to their patients to increase health and wellness and decrease the cost of medical care, including discounted prescriptions as well as the many benefits of being a Federally Qualified Health Center.
To find a NorthShore Health Center location near you and to find out about the services they provide, go to: http://www.northshorehealth.org/