Caring for Our Community's Children:
Virginia Garcia’s School-based Health Centers in Forest Grove and Tigard served 1,000 vulnerable children last year.
This past January, one of Virginia Garcia’s two School-based Health Centers saw a 12 year old boy named Asad, who was small for his age and was dealing with a lot of congestion. He was not covered by Oregon Health Plan and only qualified for emergency coverage. The problems he had, though, were chronic and required regular care.
Asad arrived at our clinic because his congestion had not been improving. He had a sore throat and also had a history of asthma and frequent sinus infections. He was congested and he wheezed as he breathed. From his history of Albuterol use, the provider could tell that his asthma was not under control. Underlying allergies seemed to exacerbate the chronic sinus problems. Asad’s overall build and history suggested possible problems with sleep apnea.
Just as the provider suspected, his mother confirmed that he snores loudly at night and is a restless sleeper. Sometimes he gasps in the middle of his sleeping. Asad was experiencing a lot of daytime sleepiness and despite good test scores, he was being held back as a student because of inattention and poor performance in class.
The provider received permission to talk to his school counselor who confirmed the provider’s suspicions about his classroom behavior. The counselor said, “I keep saying to him when he tests well or performs well, ‘why don’t you do this more?’.”
The Virginia Garcia provider started an asthma care plan, reinforced healthy diet approaches and coordinated an appointment at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital with pediatric ear, nose and throat specialists.
Asad came back for his follow up appointment on the last day of school and his lungs were clear and he looked more alert than our staff had seen him all winter! He will be receiving a sleep study soon and, best of all, his demeanor had changed from a sleepy, disinterested pre-teen, to an alert and interested young person.
*We are so grateful to our patients who chose to share their stories of health and healing with us. To respect their privacy, patient images and names have been changed.