Through distance learning, the School-Based Clinic still encourages students to “use us if you need us!”

South's school-based clinic is still offering some of their services  to students during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  If you are in need of any services the Clinic can offer, contact Jen Vaupel by calling or texting 612-599-3195.

Graphic: Minneapolis School-Based Clinics

South's school-based clinic is still offering some of their services to students during the COVID-19 Pandemic. If you are in need of any services the Clinic can offer, contact Jen Vaupel by calling or texting 612-599-3195.

Kinsley Wilcox-McBride, Features Editor

In these difficult times of social distancing, while administration tries to make plans to honor the seniors and teachers try to recreate their lessons to be appropriate for distance learning, there are other school staff members that are also trying to fulfill their roles during this complex time. The Minneapolis School-Based Clinics have also been faced with the challenging task of figuring out how to continue servicing students.

Jen Vaupel, the physician assistant at South’s clinic has been doing her best to connect with students digitally. Through social media and information on South’s school website, the clinic has tried to become as accessible as possible. “We have tried to do a bunch of social media, so through emails that Lisa Ramirez sends out, we’ve tried to do those emails to parents, we’ve also emailed all the teachers and staff so that they’re aware and hopefully the teachers can pass along the number to the students as well,” Vaupel explained.

“My phone number is the one you’ll call or text,” Vaupel said. For students who had been attending the clinic during regular school, Veupel has contacted them herself to check if they need anything. If you have not been to the clinic before, Vaupel encourages anybody to reach out. Services remain confidential even in this new format.

As for the services that the clinic can offer, Vaupel said she “can’t do sports physicals or shots right now. For sick visits, like if somebody has a fever, if they have a doctor’s office that they usually go to, they should call there first. But if they don’t, then I can talk to someone to try to help them figure that out.” 

The clinic tries to be a resource to students no matter the situation. One of the most popularly used services at the clinic is therapy. “Students that were already in therapy are still doing therapy and they’re doing it via computer or phone,” Vaupel said. They understand the need for therapy that might come out of this stressful time, but unfortunately “don’t have room for new patients right now.” Vaupel still encourages people to reach out though, as she can connect you with different resources. “We will connect you with your social worker and make sure that you get the resources that you would need,” she said.

Vaupel also said that she is “doing a lot of reproductive health services,” right now. For people who usually get a prescription from the clinic, Vaupel will figure out a plan (drop off, pick up, whatever works) with you so you can stay on that medication. 

As for summer services, “we absolutely will be available through the summer so people can still call and we will be able to help,” Vaupel said. “Whether we can do things in person or not depends on the stay at home orders and school buildings,” she explained.

Vaupel’s main message to students is “use us if you need us!” Even if you’re unsure of what you may want, she encourages everybody to reach out. “They’re all good questions when we’re going through something that is so new, so feel free to still reach out. Make sure you give yourself a lot of compassion and get outside for some walks if you can,” she said. 

If you are in need of any services the Clinic can offer, contact Jen Vaupel by calling or texting 612-599-3195