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Union Community Care, Pequea Valley SD discontinue plans for school-based clinic

(Source: Pequea Valley SD | Union Community Care)

Union Community Care and the Pequea Valley School District have shelved a plan for the health care provider to open a clinic at the district’s intermediate school.

The school board made the decision official last week, voting 6-2 to end the district’s agreement with Union Community Care and to reimburse it for any costs incurred to date.

School board President Bryan Ferris did not respond to emails seeking comment. Superintendent Erik Orndorff declined to discuss the issue.

The district and Union Community Care had been working on the clinic idea for about a year and a half, and had drafted a memorandum of understanding outlining the partnership. Setup costs were to be covered by grant funding, while patients were to be billed through their insurance for services provided, LNP newspaper reported.

As a federally qualified health center, Union Community Care focuses on underserved patients and bills on a sliding scale.

The clinic was to start this fall but ran into opposition from community and school board members. They questioned whether services such as vaccination, birth control or hormone therapy for transgender individuals would be offered and whether children could be treated without parental consent.

Union Community Care operates school-based clinics at Reynolds Middle School in the School District of Lancaster and the La Academia Charter School. The nonprofit always notifies parents and secures their consent, and parents have complete control over what care is provided to their children, spokeswoman Nicole Specht said.

The clinics offer convenience, she said, which helps promote community health. Offerings are a limited subset of Union Community Care’s services.

Union Community Care’s Reynolds location is open five days a week, the one at La Academia is open Tuesdays and Thursdays. The plan at Pequea Valley had been to start with the same twice-a-week schedule as La Academia, and expand hours if demand was sufficient.