OSBHA November Newsletter: Interview with a Student Health Advocate & More!

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Support OSBHA This Giving Season
As 2019 draws to a close, please consider OSBHA as you make plans for year-end donations and for giving in 2020. We cannot do our work without your support! You donation will help us keep advocating for school health at policy and program levels, bringing young people and communities what they need to thrive. Donating is easy: just click HERE. You can also set up monthly donations by going to our Donations and Membership page.
Interview with Mira Hukill, OSBHA Student Health Advocate
This month, we talk with Mira Hukill, who has worked with OSBHA as a Student Health Advocate since 2018 and is an active member of the group's Sexual Health Committee. Mira shares her expertise on sexual health, advocacy, and plants.
Why did you decide to become a Student Health Advocate?
I decided to become a Student Health Advocate so I could have the chance to advocate for myself and for other people my age. I also wanted to be able to work with peers who had similar passions and goals as I do. My passions around health equity include sex education, mental health, and equal health for LGBTQ+. Becoming a student health advocate has given me the opportunity to make a change in these topics. 
What do you enjoy most about being a Student Health Advocate? 
My favorite part about being a Student Health Advocate is presenting/paneling at events and classrooms. I feel like I can make the most difference and be heard more when I’m presenting, which I love to do.
Can you tell us about the work that the Student Health Advocate Sexual Health Committee is doing, and why it's so important?
The Sexual Health Committee is currently working on a peer to peer presentation about HPV. So far, we have presented to the sophomore health classes at Centennial High School, and we’re hoping to be able to present at more schools around Oregon as well. This training is really important because it’s peer to peer, so the classes we present to can learn about HPV from the perspective of people their age. We’re also in the beginning stages of creating a training for health providers that would better show them how to talk to their youth patients about the HPV vaccine. 
What advice do you have for adults who want to help improve access to sexual health services and education for youth?
Involve teens as much as possible. The Planned Parenthood Teen council has really wonderful comprehensive sex ed presentations, and they are totally willing to visit schools to give these presentations around Portland. There’s also several other youth groups (including our group, the OSBHA Student Health Advocates) that focus on health, and would probably love to give input on sexual health services and education. 
If you could have any superpower, what would it be, and how would you use it to advance health equity?
If I could have any superpower it would be the ability to grow plants from my fingers, and I would use it to advance health equity by increasing the amount of trees in more polluted/industrial areas to hopefully improve air quality. 
Can you tell us about some of the work you're doing to advance health equity outside of your work OSBHA?
I’m working with the Roosevelt HS Youth Advisory Council to work on various projects, like confronting racism in the school, making the SBHC as accessible as possible, and providing confidential advocates for the school.
If I could have any superpower it would be the ability to grow plants from my fingers, and I would use it to advance health equity by increasing the amount of trees in more polluted/industrial areas to hopefully improve air quality. ⁠—Mira Hukill, OSBHA Student Health Advocate
Pre-Registration for Advocacy Day is Open!
School Health Advocacy Day
Tuesday, February 25, 2020 in Salem
Our annual event is an opportunity for youth from across Oregon to visit the Capitol, meet their legislators, and advocate for the importance of school-based health services in their communities. Click here to pre-register.
Highlights from the Blog
The OSBHA blog features action alerts, updates, and youth blog posts.
Read our latest blog post from OSBHA Student Health Advocate Jennifer Cruz Hernandez:
We would like to thank the following funders for supporting OSBHA in 2019:
EC Brown Foundation; Kaiser Permanente; Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division, School-Based Health Center Program; School Based Health Center membership dues; OHSU Knight Cancer Foundation; ITP3 (Innovative Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program); Ronald W. Naito MD Foundation; United Way of Columbia-Willamette
And a special thank you to our Wellness Partners, who provide key backing for OSBHA to support, strengthen, and sustain school-based health.
Kaiser Permanente
Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division, Immunization Program
The Oregon School-Based Health Alliance
911 NE Davis St. Portland, OR 97232