OneWorld’s Teen and Adult Health Center on South 24th St. opened in January 2016. Since then, the clinic has provided critical primary and behavioral health care for patients who speak nine different languages and live in 13 different ZIP codes. The clinic’s extended night and weekend hours make health care more accessible for teens and young adults.
The Teen and Young Adult Health Center is the only comprehensive health center in the Omaha metro that is dedicated to teens and young adults. At the clinic, all young people have access to confidential pregnancy tests, educational materials, condoms and birth control – all at no cost to them, whether they have health insurance or not. Teens and young adults are welcome to invite parents and friends to participate to attend their appointments at the Teen and Young Adult Health Center, but parent presence is not required for birth control and sexually transmitted disease (STD) appointments at the clinic.
According to data from Omaha South High School, which is located across the street from the Teen and Young Adult Health Center, the number of pregnant students at the school has decreased by half between the 2015-2016 school year and the 2016-2017 school year. South High reported 49 student pregnancies during the 2015-2016 school year and 24 student pregnancies during the 2016-2017 school year.
The Teen and Young Adult Health Center also provides free, confidential STD testing and treatment. One of the top health care concerns in Douglas County is that adolescents and young adults, ages 15 to 24, have higher rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea than any other age group. At the Teen and Young Adult Health Center, more than 900 people were tested for STDs in the past year. Getting tested is the only way to know for sure if a person has an STD.
In addition to providing services in the clinic, OneWorld has a team of sexual health educators who are committed to education for young people and adults. These educators reached nearly 6,500 people in the past year through local activities such as hosting group classes, peer-to-peer coaching, speaking to human growth and development classes at local schools and participating in community health fairs and events.
“OneWorld is committed to making resources and sexual health services available for young people so that they can become healthy and productive members of the community,” Andrea Skolkin, Chief Exective Officer of OneWorld, said. “We are all responsible for supporting education and access to resources, and we are happy to be doing our part.”
Adapted from our recent editorial in the Omaha World-Herald.