Emory pediatric urban health program awarded funding for new school-based initiative

Woodruff Health Sciences Center | May 23, 2013

Contact

Juliette Merchant
404-778-1503
juliette.merchant@emory.edu

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The Urban Health Program of Emory University Department of Pediatrics aims to eliminate health disparities ensuring that all Georgia children are happy, healthy and productive members of society.

With a grant from the National Assembly on School-Based Health Care (NASBHC) and Kaiser Permanente, The Emory Pediatric Urban Health Program is expanding the role its School Based Health Centers (SBHC) play in advancing obesity prevention, social and emotional health, and school employee wellness with the new initiative, "Hallways to Health."

The two-year grant totaling $410, 000 will enable the Emory Pediatric Urban Health Program to participate in the collaborative project. "Hallways to Health" is part of Kaiser Permanente’s multi-state campaign, which focuses on helping students, families, and school staff make healthy eating and lifestyle choices and building health and wellness within the school environment.

The school-based health center model is recognized as a vital component of the health care safety net for kids. More than 1,900 SBHCs across the country provide high-quality, medical care for nearly 2 million students.  These centers improve the overall health and well-being of children and adolescents through comprehensive health services that include the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses, universal health screenings, integration of behavioral health into primary care services and wrap-around services that support the student, their families, and the school system.  As a result, these students are better able to learn and achieve greater academic success.

"School based health centers are a holistic approach to caring for underserved children in the context of everything that affects their lives. SBHCs improve access to healthcare and the overall health and well-being of children and have been proven to improve school attendance and reduce the cost to the healthcare system,"  says Veda Johnson MD, associate professor of pediatrics at Emory School of Medicine and executive director of the Pediatric Urban Health Program. "The Hallways to Health program will serve to strengthen the health promotion and wellness activities of SBHC."

Since 2010, the Emory Pediatric Urban Health Program (UHP) has awarded 27 planning grants to counties throughout the state of Georgia to expand SBHCs.  These planning grants bring community stakeholders together to identify the health needs of its children and to develop interventions that address those needs.  This planning effort serves as a vital starting point in developing future school-based health centers in the state. Under Johnson’s leadership, the UHP has also been awarded $500,000 from the Healthcare Georgia Foundation and an additional $80,000 from the local Kaiser Foundation to fund the development and implementation of three school-based health centers located in Catoosa, Fulton and Dougherty counties. 

About the Emory Pediatric Urban Health Program

The Urban Health Program of Emory University Department of Pediatrics aims to eliminate health disparities ensuring that all Georgia children are happy, healthy and productive members of society. It enhances the health and well-being ofGeorgia's underserved children by:

  • Expanding the number of School-Based Health Clinics in the State of Georgia.
  • Creating a family-centered model for comprehensive primary care Services for urban children.
  • Developing innovative programs that link healthcare, education and community services.
  • Training future pediatricians to provide medical care that addresses the social determinants of health.
About The National Assembly on School-Based Health Care

The National Assembly on School-Based Health Care (NASBHC) was founded in 1995 and is the national voice for school-based health centers (SBHC). Built from the grassroots up by individuals from state and federal government agencies, national and regional foundations, child health and education organizations, and SBHCs, we are a true reflection of the field we support. NASBHC advocates for national policies, programs, and funding to expand and strengthen SBHCs, while also supporting the movement with training and technical assistance.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We serve approximately 8.9 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.