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Funding Ends For Five School Clinics


Five health clinics housed in public schools are set to lose their state funding this summer. Now the state health department is trying to decide where they’ll send students who use the school-based health centers.

Health department spokesman Kenny Vigil says they’re not closing the clinics because there’s not enough money, despite the fact that the state budget cut $300,000 from funding for school-based health centers.

Instead, Vigil says they’re closing clinics that offered the fewest services and had the fewest people using them. Those centers, he said, just weren’t sustainable enough to justify continued funding.

“What we’re doing is working with the contractors and the school districts to identify transition plans, and those transition plans will sort of be a roadmap for where students can obtain the services they were utilizing at the health centers,” Vigil said.

Initially the health department announced it would be ending its contract with two schools in Tijeras and Albuquerque, but later said it would be closing health centers in Mountainair, Maxwell and Belen and as well.

Ed Williams came to KUNM in 2014 by way of Carbondale, Colorado, where he worked as a public radio reporter covering environmental issues. Originally from Austin, Texas, Ed has reported on environmental, social justice, immigration and Native American issues in the U.S. and Latin America for the Austin American-Statesman, Z Magazine, NPR’s Latino USA and others. In his spare time, look for Ed riding his mountain bike in the Sandias or sparring on the jiu-jitsu mat.
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