Many families still struggle with the cost of health care despite the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Out-of-pocket expenses to maintain health care premiums can be difficult, and there are reports of people — who initially signed up for Obamacare — having to drop their plans because of a high monthly cost.
But for students attending San Fernando High School, McAlister High School and Mission Continuation High School, health care will be provided at a new state-of-the-art Teen Health Center, located at San Fernando High School.
The health center — which officially opened on Wednesday, May 6 — offers medical, counseling and dental services in English and Spanish inside a new 5,300-square foot, single-story building. There are that includes four medical exam rooms, two dental examination rooms, three rooms for individual health counseling, a group health education room, a laboratory and a prescription dispensary.
The Teen Health Center will be operated by Northeast Valley Health Corp., an accredited Federally Qualified Health Center. It will serve more than 3,000 students enrolled at the high schools. Dental services will be available to those ages 6 months to 21 years old living in Northeast San Fernando Valley.
The project — replacing a smaller clinic in a bungalow first built on San Fernando High’s campus first in 1987 — was made possible with capital funds provided by the Los Angeles County Third Supervisorial District,and land from the Los Angeles Unified School District.
“The dental is going to open to all kids in the community,” said spokeswoman Jan Marquard. “The medical we are keeping at this point just for the teens at San Fernando High, the Mission Continuation School, The Infant Center, and the McAlister High.”
Medical services to be provided include sports and regular physicals, sick visits, vaccinations, minor injuries, acne care, family planning, counseling, health insurance enrollment, and preventative health and nutrition education. The dental office will offer services including fluoride treatment, sealants, teeth cleaning, fillings, emergency dental services and extractions.
The center’s hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, year round.
“We’ll know if they are a student because we’ll have access to their school information,” Marquard said. “They’ll have to have their parent’s consent if they’re under 18 for anything except family planning services. By law, they can sign their own consent form for that.”
Marquard added that while the clinic does take insurance, it will see anyone regardless of insurance status. “We see everybody no matter what. We don’t charge anything if they don’t have insurance.”
All students with parental consent may receive clinic services as long as they are enrolled in school.
Northeast Valley Health Corp. is a nonprofit health organization whose mission is to provide quality, safe and comprehensive primary healthcare to medically underserved residents in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys.
Diana Martinez contributed to this report.