Washington, DC – The DC Department of Health (DOH) announced $2 million dollars in recommended funding for three different non-profit organizations that will establish and operate school-based health center facilities in Ballou Senior High School, Coolidge Senior High School and Anacostia Senior High School. The grants are part of the DOH initiative Live Well DC, an interagency effort to create a holistic approach to health and wellness for the District, by proactively targeting individual behaviors to prevent poor health outcomes. DOH is working with DC Public Schools (DCPS) and the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization (OPEFM) on the construction of each health-center space, as well as the purchasing of furniture and office equipment.
“The Department of Health is excited to fund projects that will have an impact on the way youth in our community will have access to primary care and urgent care services,” said DOH Director Dr. Pierre Vigilance. “Partnering with these organizations will improve health outcomes and the quality of life for District youth, by helping make healthcare assessments, as well as education and counseling services more readily available to students.”
The organizations were chosen based on the quality of their proposed plans to address the primary and urgent care needs of students in each of the three District schools. The funding will ensure access to health care, health education, and related services for students at the three schools. Grant funding was provided by the Community Health Care Financing Fund, which is administered by DOH. The Community Health Care Financing Fund was created from the sale of bonds backed by the District’s share of the settlement between the states and the tobacco companies.
“We know that student health concerns are challenges that have to be addressed,” DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee said. “By bringing health care services directly to Anacostia, Coolidge and Ballou high schools, our students will be able to have their health needs met during the school day. This means less time away from their studies and valuable instruction time, and fewer days absent.”
The school-based health center programs are:
- Georgetown University Hospital was recommended for up to $675,000 in funding for its proposal to offer comprehensive, accessible and ongoing care, with no out-of-pocket expense, to the students of Anacostia and their children
- Unity Health Care was recommended for up to $675,000 to operate a health center at Ballou High School that will provide primary care services, including comprehensive health and sports health assessments as well as appropriate screenings and tests based on the needs of students. In addition, Unity will make oral health, substance abuse, and mental health services available to students onsite or via referral.
- Howard University Hospital (HUH) was recommended for up to $650,000 for its proposal to establish the Colts Health Center, which will help improve students’ access to healthcare and the overall health of Coolidge students and their children, by using an integrated focus on academics, youth development, family support and health and social services.
The funds awarded are intended to maximize the impact and use of school-based health centers through outreach, referral, and other initiatives, and to promote wellness through exercise, better nutrition and other healthy steps.