Swedish partnership with Ballard High School provides accessible health care for Seattle teens

May 15, 2023 Swedish Communications

The Teen Health Center at Ballard High School has been serving families in the Ballard community for two decades and is open to all Seattle Public Schools students. 

In 2002, Swedish partnered with the Ballard High School Teen Center in an effort to support local teenagers and their families. Since its inception, the Center has offered critical services to teenagers in the Ballard area, including physicals, immunizations. Over time the list has expanded to include other healthcare services. This past December, the Center celebrated its twentieth anniversary of serving the teens and families of the Ballard community. 

School-based health centers play an important role in achieving equity among youth. Swedish’s Ballard Teen Health Center aims to provide accessible, patient-focused, and compassionate care that allows our patients to thrive at school. The Center is among the school-based health centers funded by the City of Seattle’s Families, Education, Preschool and Promise Levy, a seven-year, $619 million investment Seattle’s youth which was approved by voters in 2018. 

In the two decades since its initial founding the Teen Health Center at Ballard High School has given thousands of students access to free health services and serves all Seattle Public Schools students, including those from neighborhood middle schools. For students whose parents work during business hours and for those without insurance, a free in-school health center makes vital health care accessible. The center’s health services include sports physicals and immunizations.

“Parents continue to share their appreciation for the services offered through the Center,” said Lisa Hawley, Chief Mission Officer, Providence Swedish Central Puget Sound. 

One of the exam rooms at Swedish's Ballard Teen Health Center at Ballard High School. 

Holistic care makes a lasting community impact with 
Over the years, the Center has become a community pillar. The initiative has even sparked the creation of a residency program at the center, providing young doctors from Swedish Ballard and Cherry Hill campuses the opportunity to train in family medicine. 

In addition, health care services at the Center have addressed other community challenges, including food insecurity. Leaders found that many students struggled with getting enough to eat every day. The Ballard Teen Health Center worked to supplement the free and reduced-cost meal program through a backpack program in partnership with the Ballard Food Bank. During the pandemic, the center hosted several vaccination pop-up events to make sure that students, staff and families received COVID-19 vaccinations. 

“The Ballard Teen Health Center is another example of how we work “closely with our community to address unmet needs, leveraging both our expertise and our community partnerships,” said Lisa Hawley. “For over a century, Providence Swedish has been a partner for health in the community, working to improve the health of the region, including youth, making care accessible for all.” 

About Providence Swedish

Providence Swedish has served the Puget Sound region since the first Providence hospital opened in Seattle in 1877 and the first Swedish hospital opened in 1910. The two organizations affiliated in 2012 and today comprise the largest health care delivery system in Western Washington, with 22,000 caregivers, eight hospitals and nearly 250 clinics. A not-for-profit family of organizations, Providence Swedish provides more than $406 million in community benefit in the Puget Sound Region each year. The health system offers a comprehensive range of services and specialty and subspecialty care in a number of clinical areas, including cancer care, cardiovascular health, neurosciences, orthopedics, digestive health and women’s and children’s care.

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