“School-Based Health Centers” Could be the Future of Medicine for Teens

This isn’t your mom’s school nurse; it’s a full medical center—in a high school. These school-based health centers are taking off in D.C. Here’s why that’s a good thing.
While a school nurse can hand out band-aids and Tylenol, Jason Beverly, a medical provider at Anacostia Senior High School, can prescribe and administer antibiotics, allergy meds and more.

Beverly is part of a movement in over 2,000 “school-based health centers” across the nation that aim to change medical care for school-aged youth. These centers, in several D.C. public high schools, provide a full range of health services from treatments for the common cold, headaches and asthma, administer vision and hearing screenings, and help students stay up to date on immunizations and physicals. Some centers even have full dental laboratories.

Forget what you remember about the school nurse—this is serious healthcare.

“We function as a full-service primary adolescent care clinic, so we augment the services that have been traditionally provided by the school nursing program,” says Beverly, family nurse practitioner and full-time healthcare provider at Anacostia Senior High School.

Each center is a collaboration with DCPS, the DC Department of Heath and local health institutions. The Anacostia center—entering its third year– is run by Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. About 60 percent of the student body—500 students—are signed up to receive services.

In addition to keeping students’ health intact, the most fundamental aspect of the centers is their ability to keep students’ heads in the books.

“We assist children in staying in school and graduating successfully,” says Beverly.

Read full Elevation DC article here…