School-based Health Clinics Are a Lifesaver…Literally

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I personally experienced the benefit of having a school-based health clinic in the building when I suffered an acute asthma attack while teaching a class in an Atlanta middle school. 

While I was on the floor struggling to breathe I thought I was going to die. Thanks to the school-based health clinic’s proximity and quality care, I returned to my classroom to continue teaching 20 minutes after enduring that life-threatening experience. The staff at the Coan Health Clinic saved my life.

The services these school-based health clinics provide help save lives everyday by providing the necessary vaccinations, preventative care, nutritional services, and counseling that help improve the lives of the children and families they serve.

While these clinics increase access to healthcare for Georgia’s neediest children through comprehensive school health services, they have also proven to be an important factor in improved academic achievement. Research shows that when children are healthy, they can learn—when they’re sick the learning process becomes more difficult.

There are 2,000 school-based health clinics in the nation. But only three of them are in Georgia—two of which are in Atlanta.

The good news is that the Pediatrics Urban Health Program recently announced that it will fund seven additional planning grants for school-based health clinics throughout Georgia. Last year the program awarded 11 planning grants.

The purpose of these grants is to improve community well-being by increasing access and medical care for children through the state’s school-based clinic services. Implementing these clinics will provide affordable, quality medical care in a welcoming community setting for students and their families.

The Emory Pediatric Urban Health Program will award additional $10,000 planning grants next year. Here’s information on how to apply.