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Staying on track

School-Based Health Centers partner with schools to provide care and support for students

Mindee Swanson, DNP, PMHS, APRN, Family Medicine Nurse Practitioner at the School Based Health Center.

At OneWorld’s School-Based Health Centers (SBHC), care teams, in partnership with Omaha Public Schools, are able help improve the health and wellness of children and adolescents without students leaving school grounds.

“During every appointment we look for things that can impact graduation success including signs of depression, anxiety and social determinants of health,” said Mindee Swanson, DNP, PMHS, APRN, Family Medicine Nurse Practitioner. “Say a student isn’t coming to school and we learn that it’s actually because they don’t have a ride to school, but they didn’t feel comfortable talking to a school counselor about that. With our treatment philosophy and strong partnerships with each school, we are able to connect them to the resources they need to get back on track.”

Swanson said another benefit of SBHC is the ability to work with school staff for referrals and follow up to see how treatment plans are working.

“I get a lot of referrals from school counselors, for mental health related things, and the school nurse can come to me for kids that need a deeper look at their symptoms,” said Swanson. “We are able to do a better job of assessing treatment plans because of our partnerships with schools.”

In addition to receiving care, clinicians emphasize health education to combat the large amount of misinformation children and adolescents get from social media, especially in regards to nutrition.

A lot of the care OneWorld SBHC provide revolves around mental health. Clinicians work with behavioral health clinicians and school counselors to ensure students have the supports they need to work through life stressors.

Recently the Bryan High SBHC team helped a patient who expressed they were depressed and having suicidal thoughts. The student’s teachers immediately reached out to school staff and the OneWorld team to get an appointment scheduled for the student that day.

When the patient, who had also recently gotten into several fights and was skipping classes, entered the clinic, Health Assistants, Stephanie Rodriguez and Soraya Escobedo, helped the patient feel comfortable and complete their paperwork. Once they checked in, the patient expressed they would feel more comfortable speaking to a female, so the team walked the patient to Behavioral Health Therapist, Grace Chu’s office. Chu, LMHP, had a long conversation with the patient and helped them create goals and set up follow up visits to continue managing their mental health.

While school-based clinicians work with students every day, they also involve parents and guardians to promote open communication and goal setting that can apply beyond the clinic and school walls.

“Parents and students come to us with a lot of concerns and because of our many services and community partnerships we are able to connect them to the resources they need,” said Swanson. “We want to be there for our students and their families as much as we can.”

At OneWorld, We Care for All People.

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