Five Additional Planning Grants for School-Based Health Centers Announced in GeorgiaPrint This Post
Georgia’s school-based clinic services are receiving a much needed boost to increase access and care for children, thanks to additional planning grants from the Emory Department of Pediatrics Urban Health Program.
Veda Johnson MD, assistant professor of pediatrics in the Emory School of Medicine and director of the Pediatric Urban Health Program recently announced funding for five additional planning grants throughout Georgia intended to stimulate development, collaboration and community discussion to expand the number of school-based health centers throughout the state.
“By expanding school based clinic services, children in Georgia will benefit from improved access to primary health care, improved health outcomes, and improved school attendance,” said Johnson. “The state will also benefit from reduced cost to the Medicaid system through the reduction in inappropriate emergency room visits, hospitalizations for chronic illnesses.”
The five new grantees represent collaborative partnerships between local school boards, the PTA, local Family Connections organizations, local institutions of higher education, private and public health insurers, local business and industry leaders, local government, and local hospitals and health providers. The grantees are:
- Bacon County School System,
- Candler County Board of Education,
- Cobb County School District,
- Georgia Mountains Health, and
- Spring Creek Health Cooperative.
With the addition of the new grantees, the number of planning grants awarded totals 23, representing 28 counties in Georgia.
The grants are funded by a $3 million gift from The Zeist Foundation aimed to help improve outcomes for at-risk children in metro Atlanta and throughout the state over the next five years. Eleven grants were awarded last August.
“While these sites increase access to healthcare for Georgia’s neediest children and adolescents through comprehensive school health services, they have also proven to be an important factor in improved academic achievement,” said Johnson.
The National Assembly on School-Based Health Care reports students perform better when they show up for class, healthy and ready to learn. School-based health centers (SBHCs) are located in schools or on school grounds and employ a multidisciplinary team of providers to care for the students. They also provide clinical services through a qualified health provider such as a hospital, health department, or medical practice.
School based health centers require parents to sign written consents for their children to receive the full scope of services they provide.
The Emory Pediatric Urban Health Program will award additional $10, 000 planning grants next year. Successful proposals will demonstrate how grant recipients will bring potential partners together in meetings, focus groups and planning teams to develop strategies to improve the health of school students, their siblings, and the surrounding community through the development of comprehensive school based health services. Grants will be approved for a 12 month planning period and proposals should provide letters of support from potential planning partners.
GaFCP Communications Director