SOU-La Clinica Partnership Set To Enhance On-Campus Health And Wellness Center

ASHLAND, Ore. — Medford-based community health group La Clinica has reached an agreement with Southern Oregon University (SOU) to operate the SOU Student Health & Wellness Center on campus from September. Traditionally offering school-based services, this is the first health and wellness center that La Clinica will be fielding in a university.

While SOU’s Student Health and Wellness Center has offered physical, reproductive health, and behavioral services to students on campus for over 50 years, it is currently facing an imbalance between operating costs and revenue. The executive director of the Student Health and Wellness Center, Anna D’Amato, said the partnership with La Clinica may offset some of the expenses.


La Clinica Extends School Services To University In Southern Oregon

With over 30,000 patients on record, La Clinica engaged with 25,954 in 2022. Their partners include the Oregon Health Authority — School Health Program, Bureau of Primary Health Care-HRSA, and several School Districts in Oregon. Their programs are enhanced through additional funding by the Ashland Community Health Foundation, the Providence Community Health Foundation, and the Walker Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation.

La Clinica CEO, Brenda Johnson, said they are excited and grateful to collaborate with and support SOU’s vision of providing affordable and accessible health care for their students. La Clinica sees it as an ideal partnership. Their school-based services include medical care, mental health screenings and assessments, and enrolment assistance for the Oregon Health Plan. With medical care, their program also covers:

  • Dental care
  • Family planning and prenatal services
  • Education and training services through The Learning Well
  • Immigration medical exams
  • Lab services
  • Grief education and support services


La Clinica is open to everyone, and its mission focuses on providing access to low-income people. Founded in 1989 in Jackson County to serve the primary and preventive care needs of local migrant and seasonal farm workers, La Clinica expanded its scope to serve all community members in 2001. Services are offered on a sliding-scale basis for the uninsured and low-income and are available regardless of a patient’s ability to pay.

Rick Bailey, President of SOU, said. “We are indebted to everyone at La Clinica for embracing this partnership with compassion, kindness, and a focus on selfless student service.”


SOU Health And Wellness Centre Expected To Benefit From La Clinica Alliance

D’Amota explained the thought behind the partnership, indicating that the idea was that a community health center may be able to provide the same services for a lesser cost. She thinks it’s a great way to keep the services with the same provider and in the same place.

Students will still pay a mandatory health fee as a part of their tuition under the new partnership, and La Clinica’s billing insurance will keep any other costs low. As both groups are committed to providing accessible low-cost services to patients, D’Amato is optimistic about the partnership. She confirmed that even in the middle of class, students can just run over to the center, get their appointment done, and then go back to their class or dorm.

The partnership officially begins at the start of the fall term on September 25. La Clinica does not turn away patients for inability to pay and accepts most insurance, including the Oregon Health Plan. The SOU Student Health & Wellness Center is located on the eastern side of the campus at 560 Indiana St.

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