The Ballard Talisman

Taking advantage of the Teen Health Center

Entryway to the Teen Health Center. (Julian Whitworth)

Entryway to the Teen Health Center. (Julian Whitworth)

Entryway to the Teen Health Center. (Julian Whitworth)

Mitra Shafii, Staff Reporter

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The Teen Health Center (THC) offers a variety of free services to students. A complete array of primary care medical services; Behavioral health services; A new drug and alcohol counselor; All kinds of contraception– the pill, the patch, the ring, the depo provera shot, IUDs, condoms, and Plan B; And they partner with the food bank.

These free services are often utilized by students, the most common being: sports physicals, immunizations and contraception.

Karen Boudour is the THC’s nurse practitioner. Boudour works at Ballard 5 days a week and is employed through Swedish.

The THC is funded through the Families and Education Levy which is paid for in levy taxes. “That covers about 70 percent of the operating budget and then the partner pays the other 30 percent, and in this case the partner is Swedish,” Boudour said.

The Teen Health Center is 100 percent confidential. “In the state of washington, everyone over the age of 14 can consent to care for birth control, std testing and treatment, pregnancy termination, mental health care, and drug and alcohol assessment and treatment,” Boudour said. Even though these services are not only confidential at the THC, if they are performed at your family’s doctor office, the insurance bill will be sent to your parents. Medical issues can be embarrassing for teenagers to talk to their parents about. If they don’t have anyone to talk to or get help from, the issue will go untreated and could be detrimental to their health.

The THC is also extremely convenient. Most high schoolers lead busy lives, and may not have the time to get a physical or a flu shot. The Teen Health Center enables students to receive these crucial things during their lunch.

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Taking advantage of the Teen Health Center