Health Start Clinic
Health Start is part of West Side Community Health Services, a private, nonprofit community clinic. We operate multi-service health clinics at 9 public high schools in Saint Paul. Health Start serves over 3,000 students per year during more than 17,000 visits.
Adolescence is the age group most likely to be uninsured and least likely to make clinic visits. Barriers include not knowing where to go, a need for confidentiality, lack of transportation and affordable services, embarrassment, and fear of what health care providers might say or do. Health Start clinics are accessible, affordable, teen-friendly, and non-judgmental.
Services are provided during the school day and after school by teams that include a health care provider, licensed independent clinical social workers, registered dietitians, health educators, and in four sites, a certified fitness trainer. Services include:
- Medical Care: Physical/sports exams, immunizations, lab services, and asthma care. Reproductive care includes testing and treatment for STDs, birth control, and pregnancy testing.
- Nutrition Counseling and Medical Nutrition Therapy includes services for weight loss, reduction of cardiovascular and diabetes risk, anemia, eating disorders, and food scarcity.
- Social Work Counseling & Therapy includes assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders and mental health issues such as bereavement, homelessness, violence, substance abuse, relationship problems, pregnancy, sexual abuse, and anxiety.
- Health Education: Includes individual, small group, classroom and peer education on topics such as smoking cessation, sexual health, stress management, and insurance resources.
Parent consent is needed for students under age 18 for all but a few services described in minor consent law. Each year, parents receive information about clinic services and consent forms to indicate their preference for services for their child —whether their child may receive:
- Any/all health services provided.
- All services except contraceptive counseling and birth control prescriptions.
- No clinic services.
Students whose care is limited by parental consent are referred to other resources.
Paying for Services
- No charge to students or their families.
- Insurance billed when we can do so without violating confidentiality.
The Health Start Clinic is located next to the School Nurse’s Office.
Medical Assistant: Bao Thao
Physician Assistant: Martha Magnuson (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday)
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker: Amy Lewis (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday)
Registered Dietician: Sue Wehrenberg (Wednesday and every other Friday)
Fitness Team Trainer: Stacie Lundquist (Thurs)
Health Educator: Jonathan Oppenheimer (Thursdays and every other Friday). Part of my job is to do outreach in the school. I’m the person to contact if you have any questions or concerns about the clinic and how it affects students and classes. I try to reach as many students as possible so they are informed about the services we offer and how they can access those services. If you have any questions or would just like a tour of the clinic, please email me at email@example.com or stop by to speak to any of our staff.