Teen Xpress, one of six programs offered through The Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families, is celebrating 20 years of providing free medical care, nutritional education and counseling services to adolescents aged 11-18 in Orange County.
Why is Teen Xpress Successful?
According to Dr. Rita Vento, the Program Manager for Teen Xpress, success starts with a team of people who have a real passion for what they do and the kids they treat – giving them a safe,comfortable and confidential space. Teen Xpress is unique to The Howard Phillips Center and focuses not only on bringing important health services to the community in need, but also educating youth about the importance of proactively managing their own healthcare.
Although Teen Xpress has achieved a lot of success over the past 20 years, there is still great need in our community and room for growth. Soon, the program will need to add an additional team to be able to reach more teens at underserved Title I schools, while also providing a full complement of services at the schools they currently serve. The addition of team members like another Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Nurse Practitioner or Certified Medical Assistant,and a Registered Nurse Case Coordinator and someone dedicated to dental health are on the wish list for the future. “We are finding more teens that have gone without basic care for years and are pre-diabetic,severely obese, asthmatic, lack vaccinations and have chronic mental health conditions without psychiatric evaluations,” said Navarro. “Additional staff would help us treat more youth,address more health issues, and make sure we are doing the very best for the population we serve.”