The mission of The Health Center is to advance the success of students by addressing their physical, emotional, and social needs.
- Deliver primary health and behavioral health care for all the students at Lincoln High School, Walla Walla High School, Pioneer Middle School and Blue Ridge Elementary.
- Enable the students to obtain care that they need in a professional, confidential setting so that they may thrive.
- Educate the students on being stronger medical consumers, while working to keep them connected to school and developing healthier choices.
In 2008, community leaders identified the many at-risk students of Lincoln High School as being among the highest priority children for supportive intervention in Walla Walla. The Health Center at Lincoln was established in response to this need. In 2012, The Health Center opened a second school based health center at Blue Ridge Elementary. Since then, we have continued to expand to Pioneer Middle School and HeadStart/ECEAP Preschool. Today, we are providing free medical, behavioral health and social-support referral services to more students than ever with our four operating Health Center clinics at different public schools in the Walla Walla community.
Among other needs, we see children who are dealing with issues such as:
- physical and/or sexual abuse
- serious neglect and/or homelessness
- an incarcerated family member
- a drug-abusing parent
- a mentally ill or addicted family member
- the responsibility to provide for the health and safety of a younger sibling
Not surprisingly, many children when faced with these untenable situations cope by turning to drugs and the companionship of friends who are similarly at-risk. Truancy is commonplace among this population, as is depression with thoughts of suicide.
At The Health Center, we are able to intervene in a variety of ways to protect and support our students. Often it is through receiving routine medical care that our students access the counseling services that they most need – counseling that they would not receive otherwise.