The public will have an opportunity on Wednesday to see a new onsite health center at Manistee Area Public Schools students.

The school district is hosting a virtual ribbon-cutting event unveiling the new Child & Adolescent Health Center at 6:30 p.m. The health facility at the Manistee Middle High School was established to provide access to medical and mental health services for students ages 5 to 21 to medical and mental health services.

The public is invited to join the virtual presentation join via Zoom, using the meeting ID 929 9088 6757 and the passcode 731192.

Superintendent Ron Stoneman told the Daily News the center is expected to be fully operational.

“We’re looking at maybe about two weeks,” Stoneman said. “It’ll be the first or second week of March.”

Stoneman said the facility’s reception office is currently open Monday through Friday. Starting next week, the family nurse practitioner and behavioral health specialists will be in the center for a few days a week.

“They’re a little bit ahead of schedule,” Stoneman said.

In a press release announcing the ribbon-cutting event, Stoneman stated that the center is a joint effort between Manistee Area Public Schools, Northwest Michigan Health Services and Centra Wellness.

“This opportunity would not have been possible without the expertise and dedication of our hard-working partners…,” he stated. “Together, we were able to secure grant funding from the State of Michigan’s State School Aid Fund through a competitive grant by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Manistee County Quality of Life Fund through the Manistee County Community Foundation, the Michigan Health Endowment Fund and United Way of Manistee County.”

According to the release, the Child & Adolescent Health Center will be open year-round, offering comprehensive primary care and behavioral health services.

Services provided will include physical exams for school, sports and camp; treatment for acute and chronic illness and injuries; vision/hearing screenings and follow-up; immunizations; basic laboratory services and tests; crisis intervention; referrals for specialty services; substance use counseling and education; mental health counseling and referrals; individual or group community education; STD screenings and more.

The center’s team includes Chelsea Menhart, a family nurse practitioner, and Priscilla Anglemyer, a behavioral health therapist at Northwest Michigan Health Services.

Stoneman added that the health center is utilizing teleconferencing for remote appointments.

“They have done a few tele-health opportunities already,” Stoneman said. “They’re working in the capacity of physical health and also mental health supports in that medium, too.”

According to the release, Manistee County shows data rates higher than the national average for health impact concerns such as children in poverty, percentage of individuals uninsured, and frequent mental distress, the center’s partners sought to help improve access to services for the Manistee Area Public School students of all ages.

“When the basic health care needs of our students are met, they are better able to perform in school,” Stoneman added. “Offering accessible care for both preventative and acute care within our district, we intend to provide our students with a holistic approach for overall well-being.”

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m., and will feature comments from Stoneman; Northwest Michigan Health Services CEO Heidi Britton and board chair Kirk Myers; Centra Wellness Chief Operating Officer Karen Goodman; Renee Topolski, deputy director of the School-Community Health Alliance of Michigan; Lauren Bell, a Manistee Area Public School student; and Lori Bell, practice manager.

Curt VanderWall, 35th Dist. State Senator, and 101st Dist. State Rep Jack O’Malley will also speak during the event.

From 6:50 to 7 p.m. there will be a walk-through of the center and the staff will be introduced.

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