Wellness visit with a twist, Adolescents can get a checkup and take home swag


By Sue Cody


SWAG Providence 1The Columbia Pacific CCO hosts Student Wellness Activities and Games (SWAG) events as a creative and fun way to make preventive care the norm for adolescents. They are intended to provide dedicated time to adolescent well visits in a way that is engaging and informative, by offering games, raffle prizes and food along with checkups and sports physicals. The events are for Oregon Health Plan (OHP) members ages 12 to 20 years old. There is no charge.


A SWAG event was held July 26, and another one is scheduled 6 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 24.  at Providence Medical Group, 725 S. Wahanna Road in Seaside.


“By encouraging the adolescent well visits, we hope to establish a pattern in a young person of thinking about preventative health care rather than waiting for a health issue to become chronic and difficult to manage,” says Nancy Knopf, Columbia Pacific CCO community health partnership manager.


“The teenage years are a great time for developing a positive relationship with your primary care provider and identifying potentially risky behaviors,” says Maranda Gaspar, primary care innovation specialist at CareOregon.


Teens experience dramatic physical, cognitive, social and emotional changes that call for a unique approach to health care. Behaviors formed in the teen years tend to persist into adulthood, says Gaspar. Annual well visits offer an opportunity to identify health conditions that commonly arise in this period, such as mental health diagnoses and substance use issues.


Data from Oregon Healthy Teens Survey, a statewide survey among 8th and 11th graders, indicates that Clatsop County has higher drug and alcohol used compared to the state average. In the visit, adolescents will complete an evidence-based screening tool on alcohol and drug misuse.


The Way to Wellville supports SWAG efforts as part of its focus areas on Emotional Health and Health Care Access.


The CCO recognized there was an issue with adolescents seeing doctors only when they were sick, so it created the Adolescent Well Visit metric to address this issue. The SWAG events are a useful tool to help meet this metric.


Knopf says, “It’s a fun event and an opportunity to get some good SWAG.”


For information, or to make an appointment, call 503-717-7060.