OHSU Family Medicine, Benson Polytechnic High School unveil student wellness center

Facility to expand student access to high-quality health care regardless of insurance status

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon Health & Science University and Benson Polytechnic High School today unveiled a new student wellness center that will improve the physical and mental health of Portland high school students. Located on the BPHS campus, the Benson Wellness Center will provide students high-quality health care regardless of insurance status.

Staffed by faculty and residents from the OHSU Department of Family Medicine -- as well as specialists from Multnomah Education Service District School Health Services, the Multnomah County Health Department and Western Psychological & Counseling Services -- the center will fulfill required adolescent health training for the physician-supervised OHSU residents, and will also offer a mentorship program for BPHS students interested in health care professions.

"OHSU Family Medicine is proud to help bring the best possible health care to BPHS students, many of whom have had difficulty accessing medical resources,” said Alex Verdieck, M.D., associate director of the OHSU Family Medicine residency program, and assistant professor of family medicine, OHSU School of Medicine. "The Benson Wellness Center is the perfect blend of community health, resident education and inspiration for future health care professionals. We are hopeful this program will positively impact the health of our community for many years to come.”

The 1,400 square-foot wellness center will be open to students beginning Feb. 23. Physicians, nurses and staff will offer secure on-site medical services ranging from sports physicals and general health screenings to mental health care. 

"This program means that all BPHS students, despite background or socioeconomic status, will get the important mental and physical health care services and education they deserve,” said Curtis Wilson Jr., Principal, Benson Polytechnic High School. 

With the Benson Wellness Center, school officials expect a decrease in absenteeism due to illness, limited classroom disruption due to behavioral issues, and an increase in he number of teen preventative health screenings. 

The Benson Wellness Center is made possible by grant and philanthropic funding from Portland Public Schools, Kaiser Permanente, CareOregon, FamilyCare and the center's alignment with OHSU Family Medicine's Richmond clinic, a Federally Qualified Health Center.

 

About OHSU

Oregon Health & Science University is the state's only public academic health and research university. As one of Oregon's largest employers with more than 15,000 employees, OHSU's size contributes to its ability to provide many services and community support not found anywhere else in the state. OHSU serves patients from every corner of Oregon and is a conduit for learning for more than 4,400 students and trainees. OHSU is the source of more than 200 community outreach programs that bring health and education services to each county in the state.

About Benson Polytechnic High School

Benson Polytechnic High School is Portland, Oregon's premier four-year career-technical education focus high school, building on a history that spans nearly 100 years. BPHS offers the academic rigor and the practical training that prepares students for college and the highly skilled, highly paid 21st-century work force. The 9-acre campus is situated in Portland's inner east side commercial area.

BPHS is among the most diverse high schools in the Northwest, with equal numbers of white, Latino, African-American, and Asian American students. BPHS fosters an environment of mutual respect and understanding that prepare students to excel in global society.

Founded in 1917, BPHS is accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission. Students learn to excel in one of many technical areas, from automotive/diesel/aviation technology, architecture, building construction, computer science, electric and manufacturing to health occupations digital media and radio broadcasting, which includes the district's non-commercial AM radio station 1450 KBPS, staffed by students.

BPHS a proud member of two career technical organizations: SkillsUSA and HOSA (health Occupation Students of America).