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Checking vital signs on the mobile clinic.
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EVERYDAY STORIES

Warning symptoms
YEARS WITHOUT HEALTH CARE

An uninsured teen visited us this week because she wasn’t feeling well.  When the nurse practitioner asked about her medical history she learned the girl had gone years without seeing a doctor.  A full exam and tests revealed that she might have a metabolic syndrome which could lead to heart disease and diabetes.  Our dietitian got involved to provide counseling and we were able to provide the teen with daily vitamins and iron supplements.  Today, with a healthier diet and ongoing care, she’s feeling a whole lot better.

Slowly gaining trust
SEVERE SEXUAL ABUSE

There has been a dramatic increase over the past few years in trafficking kids for sex. This is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world, and we are seeing the victims of this horrific practice. Children as young as 12 are targeted.  They are so badly damaged psychologically and physically, so we have spent a lot of time training our team how to recognize the signs of human trafficking.  Today one young teen came in for her weekly visit.  It has taken quite a while to develop her trust, but we treat her with dignity and respect and offer reassurance that things will improve.  She has some risky behaviors, and we try to convince her that she matters.

Missing school
CHRONIC ASTHMA AND LITTLE SLEEP

The father had gotten custody of his young son, but they were living in their car and staying with friends.  And with chronic asthma, the child was often up all night coughing. He had missed six months of school.  He also had a painful urinary condition.  We got his asthma stabilized, completed his Medicaid application and referred him to a specialist.   Now he’s had the surgery he needed, and he was happy to tell us today that he can finally urinate without pain.

OTHER PROGRAMS

Colorado

Idaho

Illinois

Michigan

Mississippi

New Jersey

New York Flagship

Pennsylvania

Tennessee

Texas

Washington, D.C.

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Orlando

In a Florida county known for family fun, ironically nearly 23 percent of the resident children under the age of 18 are living in poverty – a number that has increased steadily over the last five years.

With a psychologist, nurse practitioner, case manager and nutritionist from Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children on board, Dr. Chulani and the 40-foot mobile medical clinic known as the Teen Xpress visits schools in Orange county to bring free medical care, health education and mentoring to uninsured and underinsured youth – many of whom might otherwise go without treatment.

STAYING IN SCHOOL

The Teen Xpress program partners with the Orange County School System to address the needs of students in middle and high school with the highest rates of poverty and academic underachievement and provides teens with the solutions they need to tackle these challenges head-on.  And it is working.  Research studies have shown that when students have access to school-based health centers and resources, like the Teen Xpress, absenteeism and tardiness rates drop.   By providing health care services like managing asthma, reducing the risk of diabetes diabetes and helping teens avoid pregnancies that can derail their education, the program team is keeping kids healthy and ready to learn.

A VITAL CONNECTION FOR TEENS

“Adolescence is a pivotal, critical time in a child’s development. Many physical and emotional changes and challenges occur,” said Dr. Chulani.  “As the only school and health program dedicated to serving teens in the local area, we are not only providing free medical and mental health care, but connecting students with the resources they need to stay healthy.”

Teen Xpress was recognized nationally by the American Academy of Pediatrics-Adolescent Health Partnership Project’s 2010 Promising Practices Award for its commitment to positive youth development and its strength-based approach to adolescent health promotion.

Home Institution/Affiliation 
Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families Part of Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Women, Orlando, FL
Available services 
  • Comprehensive primary care, physical examinations and immunizations;
  • Management of acute and chronic illnesses;
  • GYN care and referrals;
  • Nutrition assessment, cholesterol screening and body weight monitoring;
  • Mental health services & case management;
  • Vision testing
  • HIV/STD testing and counseling;
  • Community and social service referrals; and
  • Referrals to specialty care.
Program Fact sheet