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School health clinics open to the public year-round

Posted at 5:23 PM, Jun 07, 2023

When school lets out for the summer, it upends the routines of children and parents around the state.

But those buildings aren’t all empty. Many provide food, and some even provide healthcare to anyone who needs it, no matter the season.

Those community-based health clinics are in Liberty and Rose Park Elementary. These schools sit amid 12 of Utah's 36 neighborhoods of persistent poverty as identified by the U.S. Census Bureau. They are places where families struggle to get a financial foothold, face increasing rents, and often moving during a school year.

Up close, it looks like any facility where caregivers see patients. Zoom out and you see those medical professionals work next to classrooms and playgrounds.

Shireen Ghorbani is the community health director for Intermountain Health. She said these schools are really providing a safe place, sometimes anchoring people to that sense of home.

“We know that there can be a lot of shifting, but one thing that we know is that these clinics will stay there, and they remain open all through the summer, which is an important thing for people to know. And a place where they can establish care and see a provider that deeply cares about them and also have that relationship and build the trust,” said Ghorbani.

Trust built on keeping promises. The promise from these clinics?

“We do not turn anyone away based on their ability to pay,” said Ghorbani.

Ghorbani said to not think of it like a blank check, but a commitment to help find the resources necessary.

“These clinics accept all forms of insurance. And then if you are uninsured, or you're unable to provide that kind of documentation, the clinic is able to work with you to connect you to the financial assistance program that we have through Intermountain Health. And then they can help walk you through that process,” said Ghorbani.

Don't let the locations fool you. While children in the schools can get care. The clinics aren't specifically for kids, and they aren’t just for people who live next door.

“The clinic is open to absolutely everyone, you do not have to have a student in that school, you didn't have to go to that school. They're really community centers. So, we're there to serve the broader community,” said Ghorbani.

Locations for Intermountain School Clinics
Pamela Atkinson Clinic at Liberty Elementary
1078 South 300 East, Salt Lake City

Intermountain Rose Park Elementary School Clinic
1105 West 1000 North, Salt Lake City

Click here for a full list of school and community clinics from Intermountain Health.