New school-based healthcare part of trend

October 23, 2013 by  

A new health care option is available to Petaluma teenagers, with the arrival of the Petaluma Health Center’s first clinic based at a high school.

This month, a clinic opened at San Antonio High School and another is scheduled to open at Casa Grande High School over the next year as the state steps up its drive to offer more facilities of this nature to school-age people. School clinics across the country are an effort to address the increased need for health services among high school students.

The clinics will no doubt offer an excellent opportunity for brochure printers as they seek to inform high-school student of health risks particular to them, with flyers and posters likely to be seen around the area to promote the clinic.

Services provided include physicals, suturing, Pap tests, and contraceptive methods including IUD insertions. Per state law, the clinics provide to teens confidential reproductive health services. For other treatments, parental consent is required. The clinic has been in the process of collecting signed forms of consent since the commencement of the school year.

California has a total of 226 school-based clinics. According to the California School Health Centers Association, 10% of these are at middle schools, 30% at elementary schools, and 45% on high school campuses. It is, however, noted in a recent article on the Petaluma 360 website that there are 22 school clinics in Alameda County but only one in Sacramento Country, despite both areas having a similar population.