Clinic’s goal to keep students healthy and in school


Jasmine Kamanaʻo

The Wai’anae Comprehensive Health Center’s School-based Health Clinic will provide NHIS students with free health care services.

Jasmine Kamanaʻo

All NHIS students are now able to receive free medical care from the Wai’anae Comprehensive Health Center’s School-based Health Clinic that opened up in A building on August 6th, 2018. The clinic is staffed with licensed and ward certified pediatricians to increase attendance rates for the school.

The School-Based Health Center is similar to the pediatrician care in the Wai’anae Comprehensive Health Center, but the School Based Clinic makes it convenient for students to receive primary care and behavioral care services right at their school.

“We are able to review everything in the patient charts that was done in any of our other satellite clinics,” said Risha Lai, Clinic Manager for the Health Center at NHIS.

There have been requests for there to be a health and behavioral clinic at NHIS after seeing how it has supported students and increased attendance rates at Waianae Intermediate and High Schools.

“It was the community as well that had reached out to Wai’anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center and we sort of collaborated and worked together in making this come into fruition,” said Lai.

There was a need for pediatric services such as walk-in visits for common illnesses, over the counter medications, sport or regular physicals, order labs or x-rays, and other referrals by specialists, and behavioral health services by a board-certified psychologist.

Kelekolio Roberts Japanese and Creative Dance teacher at NHIS believes that the health center is a need for NHIS.

“I’m really excited that there is a new medical service on our campus. I think it’s something our school really needs and our school has needed for a long time. I feel like one of the steps of building a strong community is having professional health care available,” said Roberts.

Having the clinic on campus solves the issue of the inconvenience of bringing a student to the doctors.

“With us being on campus, the students don’t necessarily have to miss school as opposed to if we weren’t here, they may need to go to the doctor, and they may miss a day or two of school, and their parents may need to miss work,” said Lai.

Besides providing the services to all NHIS students right on campus, this new clinic solves the issue of financial strain on students and their families that they may have to endure to get health services.

“Most of our care and costs that go into supplies and equipment is covered by a Kaiser grant. Uninsured patients or underinsured students are provided services at no cost to them and that includes the medication and services we provide in the clinic; and if they need prescriptions, they would go to our pharmacy, and it would be covered by the grant as well. So they wouldn’t even have to pay for the prescriptions,” said Lai.

One of the goals of the clinic is helping NHIS students address more severe issues such as critical injuries or even mental health services.

“Of course we are on hand if there are any other emergencies in school like if anyone is having a seizure. Luckily we haven’t come across any emergencies or challenges of that sort yet, but we are here to help should you guys need us,” said Lai.

The clinic keeps its office hours convenient for the students as much as possible.

“Our hours coincide with school hours. We are open on Monday, Tues., Thurs., 7:45-2pm, and Wed., and Fri., 7:45-1:30 pm,” said Lai.