In partnership with Providence, Sounders FC and its charitable partner RAVE Foundation hosted a community health clinic for Renton School District students on August 8-9. The event provided free student-athlete physicals to middle and high school students, administered by Providence Swedish physicians and nurses, as well as student immunizations provided by community partner HealthPoint. Over the course of the two-day clinic, over 200 students received care courtesy of these free services.
The clinic, the first of what Providence and Sounders FC hope will become an annual event, served as a continuation of the mission behind the two organizations’ partnership, which is dedicated to improving youth mental health and wellness.
“I can’t tell you how much it means to our kids and our community to know that they have the support behind them of these two organizations to provide an event like this with the free sports physicals and a chance to get immunizations, and, really, a chance for all of us to check in as the students come and go,” said BJ Kuntz, Renton School District Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Health. “It just means a lot to the community to know that we have people behind us as we work together.”
Former Sounders and current club ambassadors Brad Evans and Steve Zakuani were onsite at the clinics, while additional activities for families were also provided, including the opportunity to kick around in the RAVE Foundation octagon, a small soccer setup for free play, and to complete the Providence Challenge, testing soccer and mental skills through three different agility drills after taking the Providence Mental Health Pledge.
Students and their families also had the chance to learn about important mental health resources, including Work2BeWell and Hazel Health. Work2BeWell is Providence’s mental health and wellness program focused on providing free mental health resources and education for teens, parents and educators, with the goal to promote teen wellness across the country and work to normalize the conversation about mental health, reducing the stigma that surrounds it. In partnership with Providence, Hazel Health works with schools and families to provide physical and mental health services to fill gaps in student health care access and is being utilized in Renton schools this year.
“Providing the pre-participation physicals today was really an extension of what we at Providence Swedish worked on early in the relationship with the Sounders, which is an emphasis on mental health and increasing awareness around depression, anxiety and stress in our young people,” said Steven Stanos, DO, Providence Executive Medical Director of Rehabilitation and Performance Medicine. “Today’s event not only includes providing those valuable and necessary pre-participation physicals, but it also includes introducing resources like Work2BeWell, a Providence program that provides free resources around mental health and services, and also Hazel Health, a group that is partnering with Providence to provide virtual behavioral health this school year for students in Renton.”
Providence is a nonprofit provider of healthcare services in the Western United States, and is headquartered in Renton, Washington. Providence’s Well Being Trust is a national foundation dedicated to advancing mental, social and spiritual well-being.
Renton School District serves a diverse population of approximately 14,100 students across 16 elementary schools, four middle schools and four high schools. HealthPoint is a community-based, community-supported and community-governed network of non-profit health centers dedicated to providing expert, high-quality care to all who need it, regardless of circumstances.