By Allison Chan, BSN, RN
Shop 55 is a school-based health center located at Oakland High School in Oakland, California. Being conveniently located on campus, it allows students to easily access health services without missing school. The health center not only functions as a clinic, but also a resource center centered around youth development and engagement.
Shop 55 is run by a partnership of a variety of agencies, including Asian American Health Services, La Clinica, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), and East Bay Asian Youth Center (EBAYC). EBAYC is a large organization rooted in the community and supported by over 2,000 youth and family members. They develop afterschool programs, participate in civil and social engagement, tackle important topics, and work on strategies to involve officials and businesses in the community. The EBAYC Board of Directors is comprised of parents, students, neighborhoods and community members, with over half of board members being former participants of EBAYC.
Building Shop 55 stemmed from a community effort that involved students, teachers, and the entire community. Shop 55 is sustained through various city, county, and agency funding and reimbursements through MediCal. The clinic is open Tuesdays and Thursdays with doctors, nurse practitioners, school nurses, behavioral partners and medical assistants on site. The clinic provides direct medical and reproductive health services, health care case management, first aid, mobile dental, hearing, vision, individual and group counseling, and an on-call crisis counseling line. One amazing way Shop 55 has found a way to maximize their services is to provide all-over care for improving student health and academic learning – for example, if a student fails a vision or hearing exam, they are given new free glasses or given referrals for hearing aids to decrease any academic obstacles that may be present.
While also serving as a clinic, Shop 55 is big on youth development and engagement. They offer many opportunities for students, such as afterschool programs, academic support, enrichment programs, employment and internship positions, leadership-based research projects, and even has a Youth Advisory Board (YAB) to address various issues, advocate, and bring about awareness, change, and policy. Shop 55 at Oakland High School also has a Public Health Academy, where students learn about health careers and education from actual health professionals who teach them practical skills and expose students to the world of healthcare.
In an interview with Rany Ath, Director of Shop 55, she highlights the phrase “one-stop shop” to represent Shop 55. If it’s one thing she wants everyone to know, it’s that Shop 55 is a collective and collaborative effort that requires dedication, commitment, integration, partnership, and intersection in the Oakland High and Oakland community. All these qualities are embedded in their work in decreasing health barriers to achieve greater academic success and achievement, as well as decreasing the stigma of what school-based health centers are by providing a spectrum of services for youth that involves privacy and neutrality.