by Aditya Chintalapati, Dalia Mammo, Qing Xu, Kristin Rybski, Yunfan Zhang, and William Brigham.
Access to health care in public high schools can be affected by one’s socioeconomic status. We analyzed two public high schools based on how many students receive free and reduced lunches. For Pioneer High School, one of the two high schools in our study, we visited the health clinic and conversed with the school nurse. For Willow Run High School we conversed over the phone with the secretary, as they do not have their own school nurse. They instead utilize the RAHS health care system, and therefore have a third-party nurse who take cares of the students. What we discovered was that a large amount of students utilize the health care in Pioneer High School. A proportion of these students are from lower income families. These families utilize the school health center for treatment, as a great alternative to paying for medical attention. Students from more affluent families who have busy parents, who are not able to bring their children to an outside clinic also go to the school clinic for their health problems. A large portion of students in Willow Run High School utilizes the free and reduced lunch program in their school, indicating a lower SES. The Pioneer High School clinic is staffed by a part time nurse, 3 full time athletic trainers and social workers, while the Willow Run High School is staffed by healthcare providers from the RAHS health care system and one athletic trainer. Our results more evidence about the disparity between the socioeconomic status of a school and how it affects the health care provided by that school.