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New Year, New Program!


MountainStar Family Relief Nursery announces that a grant from the Central Oregon Health Council will allow the nonprofit to open a preschool program at its Bend site starting in February of 2017.

MountainStar provides at-risk children ages birth to three years with a wide range of support services designed to strengthen families as well as prevent child abuse and neglect. The three-year COHC grant will allow MountainStar to fulfill its long-term goal of offering preschool programming, which provides continuity of services for children who have graduated from MountainStar’s services but are too young to enter kindergarten. As MountainStar Executive Director Tim Rusk explains, “The first 1,000 days of brain development are critical and that is what MountainStar’s services have focused on since we opened our doors in 2001. We are so excited to offer this extension of services to our families and are extremely grateful to COHC for supporting our vision in such a significant way.” The preschool will also allow MountainStar to fully utilize the classroom space at its Bend facility; space that sits open in the afternoons when staff is conducting in-home visits with clients.

MountainStar, which also operates sites in Madras, Prineville and LaPine, is launching the preschool program at its Bend site as that is where the majority of its clients are located. Students will attend two days a week for three hours a day, for a total of six hours of instruction. The pre-school program will add 22 classroom spots for children and will follow the Relief Nursery Therapeutic Model. By combining the therapeutic classroom curriculum with pre-school skills, the new program will support COHC’s Kindergarten Readiness Project.

According to Donna Mills, COHC’s Executive Director, “Early learning success is critical to children’s development and a nurturing environment plays a big role in achieving that success. The 3 to 1 student/teacher ratio at MountainStar’s preschool will be ideal for children who need more focused instruction as they prepare for kindergarten and beyond, and we are so pleased to help them by supporting this essential program.” MountainStar’s preschool staff is currently being hired and trained, and the organization plans to open the preschool program in February. The program is open to children ages 3 and 4, and is free of charge to qualifying families. For enrollment information, please contact Nydia Acosta at (541) 322-6820 or NydiaA@mtstar.org.

About Central Oregon Health Council
The Central Oregon Health Council (COHC) is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt public and private community governance entity.  The COHC is dedicated to improving the health of the region and providing oversight of the Medicaid population and Coordinated Care Organization (CCO).  COHC was officially created by Senate Bill 204 in 2011 to promote the health of the region’s residents and seeks to achieve the Triple Aim of improving health outcomes, increasing satisfaction with the health system, and reducing cost. The COHC’s mission is to serve as the governing Board for the CCO and to connect the CCO, patients, providers, Central Oregon, and resources.
The COHC and Central Oregon’s CCO, PacificSource Community Solutions (PSCS), works together to transform health care in the region and to use integrated and coordinated health care systems to improve health; increase quality, reliability, availability, and continuity of care; and reduce the cost of care.

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