Crossposted from: Department of Education and Early Learning announcement
SEATTLE (June 28, 2019) The Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) today announced that two health care providers, Neighborcare Health and Country Doctor Community Health Centers, will receive funding to open three new School Based Health Centers (SBHC) in Seattle Public Schools. School Based Health Centers connect the dots between health and education, providing on-site comprehensive primary care and behavioral health for students.
The awards, which will provide more than $700,000 in funding, are the first provided through the Families, Education, Preschool and Promise (FEPP) Levy approved by voters in 2018. The seven-year FEPP Levy will invest over $51 million in School Based Health Centers serving elementary, middle, and high school students across the city.
The funds will go toward establishing SBHCs for the 2019-20 school year at Edmond S. Meany Middle School on Capitol Hill, Robert Eagle Staff Middle School in north Seattle, and Lincoln High School in the Wallingford neighborhood.
“These funds are vital to the holistic approach the department has developed toward educating our young people,” said DEEL Director Dwane Chappelle. “We’re building and expanding a successful program that provides health care that some of the students may not have access to. The simple fact is, healthy students are better prepared to learn.”
DEEL partners with Public Health-Seattle & King County (PHSKC) School-Based Partnerships Program to manage the K-12 School Health investment by providing support to community providers and Seattle School District. PHSKC School-Based Partnerships Program advances evidence-based and informed, high-quality, equitable, culturally relevant health care to support all students to be healthy and academically successful.
“School-based health centers are a proven strategy to improve both student health and academic achievement – by having access to care right on campus,” said Patty Hayes, Director of Public Health-Seattle and King County. “Removing even one health risk for a student can boost their achievement. Our centers are key to our efforts to close the opportunity gap for our youth who may not have easy access to care.”
Neighborcare Health, which has a 50-year record of providing primary medical, dental and behavioral health care services to low-income and uninsured families, senior and the homeless individuals in the Seattle area, has been providing school-based health services for over 25 years.
“Neighborcare Health has a long, rich history in school-based health, and we are honored to be able to expand our school-based network to include the students, families and staff at Lincoln High School and Robert Eagle Staff Middle School,” said School-Based Health Program Manager Alison Delateur. “Our ultimate goal at Neighborcare Health is for all members of our community to have equal access to quality health care. Funding school-based health centers is a long-term investment in the health of the community because it provides every child with a health care home in the place where they spend most of their time.”
The non-profit Country Doctor Community Health Centers, which has been serving the region’s underserved communities through the Carolyn Downs Family Medical Center and Country Doctor Community Clinic, will use this award to open its first school-based clinic.
“Country Doctor Community Health Centers is delighted to be selected as the health care provider at Meany Middle School. This new school program comes right after we opened the Country Doctor Dental Clinic to expand dental services to our community,” said Raleigh Watts, Executive Director of Country Doctor Community Health Centers. “CDCHC’s multi-decade relationship with the Meany community includes an extensive list of CDCHC employees who either attended Meany or have children who go there. We are committed to providing SBHC service not just as a medical provider, but as a neighbor and a member of the school community. We have personal interest in the health of the school and its students.”
Both providers will be contributing a third of the operating cost of the centers.
Neighborcare Health and Country Doctor received the award through a Request for Application process from organizations interested in providing health services at the three schools. The application process was managed by Public Health with the applications being reviewed by a panel that included representatives from the community, Public Health, Seattle Schools and the principals from each school receiving the SBHCs.