The Westside Family Health Center mobile unit comes to Venice High and a few other high schools once a month to check in on students who ask for medical help, particularly reproductive and health services. The Health Center has been around for 40 years and it actually started as a women’s clinic, now extended to family practice. The mobile unit itself has been around for ten years.
Everything is free and confidential. Students can schedule an appointment by calling (310) 450-2191 or by checking in with the school nurse’s office.
The mobile unit comes from 9 am to 2 pm on the first Wednesday of every month. Sometimes, they stay a little longer if there are more patients on their schedule.
It provides a variety of services such as birth control, STI testing and rapid HIV testing. Students also have access to condoms and emergency contraceptives. They also provide counseling in regards to reproductive sexual health.
Jeremy Decarvalho has been working at the Family Center for a little more than a year.
Students don’t necessarily feel comfortable talking to individuals who they know, like parents and friends, about reproductive and sexual health, said Mr. Decarvalho. Students may be exposed to misinformation, so we are here to provide reliable resources to students on campus.
It’s very convenient for people to get our services because they might feel awkward about going to a doctor with their parents too, he said. At the age of 12, children have the right to have confidentiality about reproductive checks and sexual health.