Native American Health Center Now Open
December 6, 2011
Filed under News
Occupying the new white portable next to the Youth Center, Skyline’s new Native American Health Center provides well visits, counseling services, sport physicals, vaccinations and reproductive health care, such as birth control and sexually transmitted infection testing.
There will also be groups for nutrition and health, “My-Body-My-Temple”, sex & relationships, exercise, and yoga.
“The health center is here to stay and will keep growing, for the youth, by the youth,” said Sarwang Parikh, the center’s health counselor.
Kaiser Permanente donated funds to the Native American Health Center, a non-profit organization, which enabled Skyline to build the health center. It has been proven that health centers at Oakland schools can improve the culture of the school and keep students in the classroom. According to Aly Bobulsky, the center’s program coordinator, said, “The health center will give them [the students] convenient access to health care services and because of that, it has the potential to make Skyline students healthier and happier.Students will no longer have to leave school and catch different buses to get to a doctor or clinic. They will, however, need a referral from a teacher or administrator to go during class before school, after school, or during lunch.”
Bobulsky went on to say that the clinic is just for students, but if any of their family members need health care services, they can be referred to the Native American Health Center on International Blvd., near Fruitvale.
Assistant Principal Arkin said she was excited about the arrival of the health center. “The more resources we have on campus, the better off we are. Also, students are able to work as IWEs there and get experience, if [the health field] is one they are looking into [as a career].”
Students, too, are happy to have these opportunities right on their own campus.
“The health center is very cool because Skyline really needs something like this,” said a student who wished to remain anonymous. “Like for instance, when that one kid got knocked out, the health center would have came in handy. It will also help teens have safer sex.”
Another student, who also wished to remain anonymous said that they hoped the new health center would provide more health support than the part-time school nurse the school has had in the recent past.
“It’s a good service because students don’t have to miss school for their medical needs,” she said.
The health center will be having a grand opening blessing ceremony by Native American elders sometime during November. Everyone is welcome to observe the traditional singing and sage ceremony welcoming our health center. Students may also bring their musical instruments to this event.