Clinic Brings Services to Students: New partnership to transform schools into community hubs of service

February 15, 2024

By Nikki Link
Originally published in The Argonaut Staff Writer

The Hawthorne School District and Venice Family Clinic are announcing a new partnership to provide medical care, mental health care, as well as other health and wellness services for the district’s 7,000-plus students. This will be provided at York School’s Maxine Waters Health and Dignity Center as part of a program to transform schools into hubs of services for communities as a whole.

A nonprofit community health center providing health care to 45,000 people in need from the Santa Monica Mountains to the South Bay, Venice Family Clinic has clinicians and staff at the center two days a week. They provide vaccinations, physicals and other medical care in addition to health insurance enrollment assistance, mental health care, and education for children and teens in the district.

The clinic already provides on-campus medical and mental health care at several other schools, including Culver City middle and high schools, Carson High School and Santa Monica High School. However, the Hawthorne School District’s health center is the first on-campus medical program under the California Community Schools Partnership Program. First created in 2021, the program is an effort to transform schools in disadvantaged areas into a resource that addresses the needs of students, families and the larger community.

“Providing care where our patients are is a hallmark of Venice Family Clinic’s comprehensive approach to health care, and we are enthusiastic about this opportunity to extend our school-based health care programs to Hawthorne,” said Dr. Mitesh Popat, Venice Family Clinic CEO. “Our partnership with the Hawthorne School District gives us an opportunity to be a vital link in ensuring the health, well-being and academic success of Hawthorne’s young people.”

The Hawthorne School District received a $14.25 million grant from the California Community Schools Partnership Program in order to partner with entities like Venice Family Clinic and establish its own programs to address mental and physical health, basic needs, family engagement, college and career readiness, and behavior and enrichment interventions and support.

“Venice Family Clinic’s demonstrated commitment to local communities and high-quality care makes it the perfect partner to help us achieve our goal of becoming a vibrant hub of services and programs dedicated to ensuring our students, families and community flourish,” Hawthorne School District Superintendent Brian Markarian said.

The health center is now open. Anyone interested in finding out more about the clinic’s services can visit the Hawthorne School District’s website under the “Parents/Community” tab.