Every once in a while I go to NewsOK.com and find a story that makes me proud of the human race. Now, don’t get me wrong. More often than not I find headlines that make me want to gargle broken glass or pour bleach into my eyes. If it’s not the terrible things happening that drive me to bash my skull against the bricks on the corner of my house, it’s the awful comments section that really does it to me.
So you can imagine my surprise when I chanced upon this little gem from yesterday:
Variety Care announced plans Tuesday to open a community health center on Capitol Hill High School’s campus.
The clinic will serve not only students but also their parents and the high school’s faculty and staff.
Variety Care CEO Lou Carmichael said in a news release that Variety Care has been working with the high school’s administrators for the past few years to try to develop the clinic.
“School-based health centers across the nation have had tremendous effects on the students and community members they serve,” Carmichael said. “In addition to keeping children healthier and in the classroom, school health centers also provide students with positive, professional role models in an appealing career field.”
Variety Care is a nonprofit community health center with several locations in Oklahoma.
Initially, Variety Care will start weekly visits in two rooms inside the high school. But by August, Variety Care plans to have a modular building that will have three exam rooms and a waiting area.
This is great news! The clinic will accept Medicaid, most private insurance, and uninsured patients can pay cash on a sliding scale. And because it’s right there at the school, it’s easier for patients to access it. (And let’s be real. How often did you fake an illness in high school to get out of class? Capitol Hill students—maybe you need to get a check up instead of taking that algebra test?)
Another important aspect of this clinic is how it plans to deal with the high teen pregnancy rate at Capitol Hill High School. The school hopes to see a decrease in the number of teen mothers who drop out of school by providing on-site health care.
And now for a new segment I like to call “Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.”
I’m sure that it will only be a matter of time before the Tea Partiers and ultra conservatives have something to say about this. And you can rest assured it will be something irrelevant and old-fashioned about “how things were in their day” and “where are the parents to take them to the doctor” and “how they have a job and work to earn money” because they are literally the only people ever to work at a job and earn income and that makes them really unique and absolutely gives them the right to criticize everyone ever. (And my generation is the entitled one…)
This is all made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources Service Administration, so hopefully the clinic won’t experience the same fate as the Emerson Alternative High School clinic. In 2009, the state legislature cut funding to the Health Department, which in turn, caused a clinic for pregnant girls and young mothers to close.
With the high teen pregnancy rate and our generally bad health, this might be a worthwhile investment for all of Oklahoma. Wouldn’t it be great to have medical professionals in our schools not only supporting our underpaid teachers but providing viable adult role models for our youth?
I look forward to reading your comments regarding girls learning to keep an aspirin between their knees and letting the poorest amongst us die to decrease the surplus population.
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