A typical day for nurse practitioner Jordan Hampton, MSEd, MSN, RN, CPNP, runs the gamut. Among her patients at the Chelsea High School Student Health Center, a satellite of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Chelsea HealthCare Center, she sees everything from strep throat to issues around sexual health. One thing in common among the 2,000 student visits to the clinic each year: they provide easy access to culturally competent care, regardless of whether students have insurance or a MGH primary care physician.

In addition to the 1,100 visits to Hampton for primary care concerns, an additional 900 students visit the clinic annually for conditions such as anxiety and depression. Hampton works closely with the school’s nurses, social workers, and administrators to create a safe space where students can discuss trauma, substance use, and safer sex. Joan Quinlan, MGH vice president of Community Health, says the center’s unique value is its location and the quality of the care provided. “Having the center on school premises enables our staff to build relationships and trust with students,” she says. “That is key to identifying issues early on and providing follow-up care.”

The students Hampton sees in Chelsea face unique challenges in addition to the typical risks associated with drug use and teenage pregnancy; many Chelsea families face poverty and long work hours, and English is often their second language. A significant portion of Hampton’s role is in teaching Chelsea’s students to navigate the health care system and advocate for themselves as they make their way into adulthood.

“The resilience and strength of these students is just unbelievable,” Hampton says. “My job is to help them become more independent and live healthier lives.”

Click here for more information on MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center.

Topics: Behavioral Health, Access to Care, Community Health Centers

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