Preventative Health Screenings

Through our work in schools, we have learned that many low-income children have not received basic preventative health care services. We have children in our schools who are unable to see or hear well enough to learn. They are failing to achieve because of basic, treatable health issues, yet they are slipping into a cycle of detachment and failure. We make sure that children in our partner schools have basic preventative health screenings to identify barriers to learning before they become significant achievement gaps.

Health and Wellness Team Model

We work with our partner schools to focus on the needs of the whole child, rather than just the academic child. We help our partner schools assemble a team of multi-disciplinary professionals
—those with academic perspectives together with those who have health perspectives. By working as a team to examine the child’s needs from a variety of perspectives, issues like mental health concerns or emerging physical health issues can be identified as contributing factors to the problems a child is encountering. The team designs and monitors a holistic plan of action to ensure that each child is given the support to address health barriers to learning.

Program Sustainability

We work with our partner schools to help them become authorized Medicaid service providers. In this way, many of the health-related services that partner schools provide can be reimbursed by Medicaid. This additional funding ensures that the school can continue providing Coordinated Care for the Whole Child Services permanently.

Expansion & Replication

We are working at the state and national level to educate policy-makers about the importance of integrating health services in a holistic way into our schools. Through our advocacy efforts, we are working to expand the Coordinated Care to the Whole Child model to other communities, as well as to secure additional funding support for long-term sustainability.  It is heartbreaking to imagine what a school day must be like for a child with an unidentified vision issue. From the very beginning of his education or from the onset of his vision problems, he may try his best in school, but he just doesn’t understand the material like the other children.He doesn’t know he can’t see the board—he just knows that the other children are smarter than he is. And perhaps he gets bored because he can’t participate. Then he begins to get off task and create distractions. Now, not only is he not smart, but he’s also a behavior problem. Now, imagine this child growing older and older, falling farther and farther behind.It’s not too hard to imagine where this child ends up, because we see it in the newspaper when we read about the latest crime incident in our city. This child fails out of school, can’t get a job, and has no sense of self-worth or self-respect. His options are highly limited, and he’s probably severely frustrated. He is the next front-page story. And all of this because no one knew he needed a pair of glasses. This is the need that HEAL works to address with its Coordinated Care for the Whole Child Program.