Bus offers k-12 health services

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

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In order to provide health care to K-12 students who do not have health insurance, a Contra Costa County School Based Mobile Clinic is available every Friday on campus to provide various medical services.

The mobile clinic arrives early on Fridays, setting up at 8 a.m.

It is primarily on campus to provide medical services to Middle College High School students who qualify for care.

In order to qualify for the mobile clinic, students should not have a private insurance provider or be covered under medical or Medicaid.

“We want to bring health care to where STD rates are going up and where general knowledge about health is declining,” Health Education Specialist Shanda Young said.

Fliers were handed out prior to the clinic’s arrival.

MCHS students are encouraged to make an appointment for services, and are given three different options.

The easiest option is to drop in while the truck is on site.

Upon entry to the bus, the students receive a blue clinic appointment request slip. It asks for name, school and possible insurance coverage.

Students are then asked to check the box for the service they are requesting.

The health services offered range from physicals/sports physicals, STD tests, test results, condoms, pregnancy tests, plan B, health educator consultations and immunizations.

Some students are asked if they had been immunized or needed to be immunized during the mobile clinic’s visit.

The clinic does not offer dental work, but MCHS students who require dental care and qualify for treatment will be referred to a local dentist.

Dental services are available at Kennedy, El Cerrito, De Anza and Richmond high schools.

In service for seven years, the eight mobile clinics service all of the high schools in the East Bay.

With the program expanding, a mobile dentistry will soon be part of the mobile clinic.

“There are a lot of studies that show that when young people advocate for their own health care, it’s better for their future,” Young said.

All of the same doctor patient confidentiality standards apply and the RV cab is not for loiterers. After time was given to fill out a blue appointment slip, those who had appointments can remain in the area, and those who don’t must leave.

The staff from the mobile clinic is helpful and accommodating to students. They take time with all of the students who came by.

“Each (elementary, middle and high school) campus is memorable because we know we are helping people,” mobile clinic driver Hank Dedrick said.

“We’re bringing medical services to kids who don’t have benefits — it doesn’t get better than that.”

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