JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Military beneficiary students at Bethel High School and Bethel Middle School can now access health care on campus.

Madigan Army Medical Center's new school-based health center in Bethel is a comprehensive, primary care center staffed with pediatricians, nurses and administrative staff who specialize in taking care of teenagers.

"This program will bring support to students at school, so they will not lose time away from school for medical appointments," said Bethel Superintendent Tom Seigel. "Having medical support at schools will help increase attendance which is key to academic success."

Students can be seen for acute, minor and chronic illnesses, sports physicals, immunizations and to manage long-term medications such as those for asthma and allergies. In addition, students can access counseling for behavioral health concerns, as well as laboratory and basic pharmacy services.

"We are excited to directly enhance the readiness of our military parents by providing this high quality, convenient service to their families," said Col. (Dr.) Keith Lemmon, the medical director for Madigan's School Based Health System. "We have great data supporting Soldier readiness improvement, improved quality of care in school clinics and high student and family satisfaction with the program."

All Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System enrolled active-duty or retiree family member teenagers attending the two schools are eligible for the school-based health care services. More information and forms are available at bethelsd.org/madigan.

A kick-off event for the opening of the Madigan school-based health center is scheduled for Sept. 11 at 9 a.m. It will be part of Bethel's National Day of Service and Remembrance ceremony, featuring U.S. Rep. Denny Heck as the keynote speaker. The congressman's address and the ceremony will be held at the Bethel Learning Center, 21818 38th Ave. East, in Spanaway.

School-based health centers for military-connected students are also in place in the Clover Park, Steilacoom and Puyallup school districts. North Thurston School District will also receive its first center next month.

Photos of the ceremony will be posted on Madigan's Facebook page -- Facebook.com/Madiganhealth.