Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

Health Close to Home

Posted 02/19/2016 by Jordan Prochnow

The Denver Health school-based health clinic staff ensures that students receive thorough and essential health care. photo by Javontae Jourdain

TJ’s school-based health clinic provides students and families with convenient and quality health care.

Last year, one of Denver Health Medical Hospital’s school-based health clinics opened at TJ. TJ’s clinic is one of eighteen locations around the Denver Public School district that provides students and families with access to health care and important information about healthy lifestyles. The clinic allows students to take charge of their own health care, and provides a method to aid students quickly and efficiently.

Since the launch of the clinic in 2014, over 800 different students have utilized the clinic and the services that it provides. It offers a wide variety of services that are convenient and promote healthy lifestyles; students and families can receive immunizations, sports and general physicals, lab tests, hearing and vision screenings, mental health counseling, and prescriptions to treat injuries and illnesses. Having a clinic provides the convenience of having all of these services in one place, and helps ensure that students are not missing school to go to a doctor farther away. “I think that it’s an amazing opportunity for families,” said Assistant Principal Paula Hammel.  “If there’s a higher need than just our school nurse, we walk somebody down the hall versus needing an ambulance, and the quick response really helps.”

TJ’s clinic is able to treat students from seven other schools as well: Bradley International School, Hamilton Middle School, Holm Elementary School, Joe Shoemaker School, Samuels Elementary School, Slavens School, and Southmoor Elementary School. “By far the greatest benefit to students and their families is the convenience of primary care within the school,” stated Nurse Practitioner Sally Flynn. “We can then follow up with a student for ongoing care, coordinate referrals to specialists or other services when needed.”

In order for students to have access to the clinic, parents must fill out a consent form provided by the district. “It’s really imperative that we have students sign up, since it’s a great resource,” explained Principal Suzanne Morris-Sherer. “It’s a great benefit and it adds to the greatness of TJ.” All visits are free and confidential unless expressed otherwise, and though insurance may be billed, it is at no cost to families. If students do not currently have insurance, the clinic can provide families with information on accessible insurance programs. The consent forms are available on Parent Portal under the school-based health clinic tab or by clicking here.

The Denver Health clinic at TJ is a necessary resource for students and families to take charge of their health. “The clinic is important to TJ because it really does have everything you need. They’re always so nice and welcoming and they make you feel as comfortable as they can,” described another anonymous student. “I feel that based on our health clinic, all high schools around the country should have them,” said junior De’Janay Smith. “Students won’t have to worry about going home to attain the resources they need for any medical problem because it’s just right down the stairs.” TJ’s health clinic is an essential element of the school, and will surely benefit students for years to come.