More than 50 people came together Feb. 21, 2022, to celebrate the opening of the Health and Wellness Center at Lincoln Middle School in Fort Collins. The new health center gives students access to physical and behavioral healthcare services from a familiar and easily accessible location: at school.
Poudre School District Superintendent Brian Kingsley was honored to cut the ribbon alongside Merry Hummell, Health and Wellness Center director and an employee of Every Child Pediatrics, which oversees the clinic.
“When kids thrive physically, emotionally and mentally, their families thrive, and communities thrive,” Hummell said. “I would like to thank The Colorado Health Foundation, Larimer County Behavioral Health Services, Bohemian Foundation and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for their financial support of this capital project.”
About the new center:
- Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
- The center will see any PSD student enrolled for care with Every Child Pediatrics.
- There is an external entrance for non-Lincoln students and an internal entrance for Lincoln students.
- No student enrolled in care at the center is ever turned away for an inability to pay for services.
- It is 1,054 square feet.
- The Health and Wellness Center is the second school-based health center (SBHS) in PSD. There are about 70 SBHCs in Colorado and more than 3,000 across the U.S.
- The center includes space for PSD nurses, a health technician office, an observation room, a bathroom, a virtual mental and behavioral care health room, a virtual medical room, a lab for immunizations, a medical exam room, and more.
- Staffing at the center is the same as the Health and Wellness Center at Centennial High School - director, physician assistant, five patient care assistants (three are fluent in Spanish), and two mental and behavioral health specialists. Staff are shared between the two health and wellness center locations.
To learn more about the Health and Wellness Centers at Lincoln Middle School and Centennial High School, visit the Health and Wellness website.
Minors and healthcare services
Colorado HB 19-1120 was signed into law and went into effect on May 16, 2019. HB 19-1120 lowered the age of consent for psychotherapy services from 15 years old to 12 years old or older. Per Colorado Revised Statute 12-43-201 (9)(a) “a minor who is 12 years of age or older, with or without the consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian,” may consent to receive psychotherapy services “if the mental health professional determines that: (a) the minor is knowingly and voluntarily seeking such services, (b) the provision of psychotherapy services is clinically indicated and necessary to the minor’s well-being.”
Per Colorado Revised Statute 13-22-105, minors can self-refer/consent to the following services: contraceptive services, sexually transmitted infection services, prenatal care and general medical care for the minor’s child. Parental consent is not required in any medical facility in the State of Colorado for these services.
As part of its many services, Every Child Pediatrics’ Health and Wellness Centers provide fact-based reproductive health/contraception information and counseling, contraception, sexually transmitted infection counseling and testing and prenatal care. Research shows that teens are much more likely to share important health-related information with trusted adults, including student-based health center staff. The Health and Wellness Center staff strongly encourage adolescents to engage in an open dialogue with their parents/guardians about all aspects of their health care.