New Youth and Young Adult Clinic targets reproductive health
Posted July 7, 2010
Teens and young adults at UC Davis Health System have a new place to turn for confidential reproductive health-care services, including contraception, pregnancy testing and diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.
The new Youth and Young Adult Clinic offers free services to patients 13 and older and encourages them to better manage their reproductive health. It was established in response to requests by numerous community-based organizations serving teens and the need to provide more opportunities for resident training and experience said Daniel Martineau, a professor of general pediatrics whose specialty is adolescent medicine.
“The clinic will offer services for everything from 'It hurts when I urinate’ to ‘I need contraception,’” Martineau said.
“We want adolescents and young adults to feel comfortable seeking care so they will provide open and honest information about their sexual activity,” he said. “We view adolescence as a developmental stage when young people begin to take more responsibility for their own health. Doing so with the guidance of a professional helps make them better able to make good decisions about their life choices.”
Martineau said that the services, which will be offered by the Department of Pediatrics in the General Pediatrics Clinic, will not be billed to a patients’ insurance, regardless of whether they have private health insurance through their parents.
“When an adolescent sees a physician and their health insurance is billed, their parents receive an explanation of benefits letter from the insurance company about their visit,” he said. “That can be a disincentive for the teen to get treatment.”
“Our primary goal is to make sure that young people get into treatment and get the care that they need.”
— Daniel Martineau
While some parents may be concerned that their child may be receiving health-care services without their knowledge, in California all adolescents have the right to receive confidential reproductive health-care services.
“We always discuss with them the risks and benefits of good communication with their parents about their reproductive health,” Martineau said.
The clinic will offer all reproductive health-care services, including pregnancy testing, sexually transmitted infection testing, diagnosis of painful urination in males or irregular periods, which can be a symptoms of sexually transmitted infection, Martineau said. Services for other health conditions will not be offered free of charge
“Our primary goal is to make sure that young people get into treatment and get the care that they need,” said Martineau.
Funding for the clinic comes from the California state Family Pact Program, which provides resources for reproductive health services.
UC Davis Children's Hospital
UC Davis Children's Hospital is the Sacramento region's only comprehensive hospital for children. From primary-care offices to specialty and intensive-care clinics, pediatric experts provide compassionate care to more than 100,000 children each year and conduct research on causes and improved treatments for conditions such as autism, asthma, obesity, cancer and birth defects. For more information, visit the UC Davis Children's Hospital website.