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Healthpoint at RHS

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Healthpoint at RHS

Miranda Hanes, Staff Writer

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Right of privacy and choice has made its way in to the heart of Renton High School through a full-functioning clinic called Healthpoint. Simultaneously interacting with the students first-hand and being separate from the high school itself enables easy access to confidential or non-confidential medical care for students.

Healthpoint has made a huge impact on many lives.

Alexa, the clinic coordinator, has experienced the impact first hand, “I started at health point when I was 19…I really had my heart on Healthpoint because I was a teen mom. I got pregnant when I was 16 years old and I went to Healthpoint to get all my services…like everything… because I didn’t know where to go. That was the clinic that my mom had taken me before. I want to help girls out, I want to make them feel comfortable, and share my story.”

The amount of services and opportunities that Healthpoint provides is abundant.

“We’re not bias towards anything; we respect what kids and their parents believe, but also we have to understand that we have a job. When I grew up I couldn’t talk to my mom about these things and we want to be open to be able to listen to kids and what they need… In my culture, we don’t really acknowledge a lot of mental health…[at Healthpoint] you can come see a counselor and you don’t have to go to an outside doctor and that counselor can work with your doctor. You can walk freely into the clinic and decide on your own without having to worry your parents are going to influence your thoughts. I’m really glad about the services that we provide, and I know some parents aren’t happy to know that their kids can get birth control, but the fact of the matters is, is that it’s happening no matter our spiritual beliefs, cultural beliefs or just what we grew up thinking,” said Alexa.

Eli, the behavioral health consultant and a licensed psychologist at Healthpoint, states that, “Healthpoint has a really strong mission of helping communities and individuals who don’t have as easy access to medical care or behavioral health care, and that is something I really strongly believe in as well…I think some things that Healthpoint offers that are not too well known might be our ability to help people with sleep, our ability to help people get caught up on immunizations or to get ready for traveling internationally… it’s important if you’re traveling to a foreign country. I think some people don’t realize that we are a full functional medical clinic…sometimes people are not aware that they can get connected with mental health support through the clinic as well.”

Medical care has become more of a privilege than a right, and Healthpoint strives to change this.

“It is specific in its mission to help people regardless of their limitations or barriers, if you don’t have money, if you don’t speak English. Those things don’t matter to us; we want to be able to care for people regardless of their ability to pay,” says Brianne, the family medicine doctor at Healthpoint. “At our bigger clinics we have acupuncture, we have naturalpaths, we have nutrition services as well as behavioral health. We see care as needing to be more holistic, approaching the whole person, so in addition to having medical doctors we employ psychologists for that mental health piece, you can’t be completely healthy if you haven’t addressed both the mind and body.”

Some people doubt their place in Healthpoint’s care, but there are so many different places that anyone could find a service helpful for them.

“From people receiving sports physicals, some kids don’t get their vaccines and they go to school, or they feel sick, they can be seen for everything, like if you have asthma and kids don’t get to have medication. Another big thing is birth control; if I had a clinic I probably wouldn’t have been a teen mom and I could have done other things that I really wanted to do, like go to college,” says Alexa.

Healthpoint is more than just a job for the employees that work there; they feel true passion towards the cause of indiscriminate care.

“The people that work here really care about the kids, like I really care about the kids.  I almost feel like their mom; we’re not going to do anything that could jeopardize confidentiality. You can receive everything, everything you need, medication, all of it…I would recommend it to everyone all the kids, even the kids that doubt it and question…I would recommend it to everybody.”

 

About the Writer
Miranda Hanes, Staff Writer

My name is Miranda Hanes, and I'm a junior here at Renton High School. I enjoy being outside in nature, hanging out with friends, and driving.

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