As a health educator serving with Erie Family Health Center at a school based site, I have to wear many hats. My roles include nutrition counseling, health insurance enrollment, coordination of dental and vision services, and generally meeting the health needs of the students at Lake View High School. One of my favorite responsibilities however is teaching sex education. I coordinate with the staff at Lake View to provide comprehensive sex education to students, usually during gym class.
Recently I ventured out of Lake View and taught sex education at DeVry University Advantage Academy, which is a Chicago Public School. Every year Erie coordinates with Heartland Health Centers, and sends their Health Educators to teach students at DeVry the entire day. They call this the sexual health colloquium. I spent the morning with Stephanie, an NHC Chicago member serving at Heartland, teaching junior year students about consent and how to talk to a partner about what you want in regards to sex. After a break for lunch we returned to teach the seniors about pregnancy and prenatal care, sexually transmitted infections, and contraceptive methods.
This day was a chance to see how health centers can collaborate to provide services to the community. It gave me a chance to teach different students, and serve with different NHC members. While it was nice to get back to Lake View, I really enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate to provide services for these students that otherwise wouldn't receive them.
This blog post was written by 2018-19 NHC Chicago member Natalie Berman.
Natalie is a Health Educator at Erie Family Health Center - Lakeview.