News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

SIT partners with Scio School District to form team

Contributing writer for The Canyon Weekly

A new Service Integration Team is coming to Scio this month.

“Over the last year, calls for assistance out of the Scio School District Catchment area has increased,” said Kim Dwyer, SI coordinator for Santiam Hospital & Clinics. “We have partnered with the Scio School District to bring SI to the Scio area.”

The new SI team will meet at 9 a.m. on Sept. 21 at the Scio Fire Department and a ribbon cutting will also take place, Dwyer said.

“Scio had the support of our board of directors, specifically Ed Diehl advocating since 2017 to start the team, but we wanted to make sure we could support/facilitate three teams before branching out,” said Melissa Baurer, director of Integrated Health and Outreach for SH, whose oversees the program for the Santiam Canyon, Cascade, and the greater Stayton area. “It feels like the right time now with Supt. Steve Martinelli supporting the Scio Team. Steve has extensive years with the Polk County SI model and believes in its mission. He and Kim Dwyer, our SI Coordinator, have worked with each other in the past. They have a good relationship which is needed to succeed. At this time, we do not have plans to branch out, but we are not closing that door either.”

Baurer pointed out that Scio is rural, similar other SI-served towns that do not have a lot of services available.

“Which means there are transportation barriers for accessing services like the other areas we serve,” she said. “Kim has already been filtering calls from Scio from school partners, families who need support with urgent needs but don’t have ease of access for these services. 

“The school partners have been working incredibly hard to meet the needs as well as the community members step up a lot to support their community,” she added. “We want to offer a way to collaborate, integrate services, and build relationships. Enhance on their current efforts.”

According to Baurer, the program model will remain the same with the district and hospital providing funding. 

“The needs we are getting are very similar such as bed for kids, shoes for kids, pet rescue, rent support, etc.,” she said. “Nothing different from the other team needs.” 

What is needed are team members who are invested in their community, and willing to attend monthly meetings and build relationships by collaborating with one another to meet the needs of the community, Baurer said. 

“We can always use local volunteers to help with delivering household goods to homes in the Scio area,” she said. “We are also looking for a regular, consistent and skilled admin support volunteer for the SI Coordinator. Preferably one who has 15-20 hours to volunteer a week.”

Dwyer will coordinate and facilitate the new SIT and will choose a co-chair with Martinelli. 

“We are excited for this new adventure!” Baurer said. “We have learned from our recent 2020 wildfire that communities with a Service Integration team are able to respond quickly with community support in place. We want this for Scio as well. Welcome to the Service Integration ‘family’ Scio!”

Service Integration is a partnership between Santiam Hospital, school districts, faith groups, nonprofits, social service agencies, local clubs, government agencies, businesses, and community members. 

SITs meet monthly to network, share resources, discuss local needs, and find solutions. Each team is unique to its community. 

Funding partners include Santiam Hospital & Clinics, North Santiam School District, Santiam Canyon School District, Cascade Together, Marion and Polk Early Learning Hub, United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley and Scio School District.

For information, call Dwyer at 503-409-3652 or send an email to [email protected].

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