CHC: Health & Academics

Notes from the May 17th, Community Health Committee (CHC) Meeting: Health & Academics-Linked for Success.

The CHC is a coalition that includes over 200 participants from  diverse organizations including health systems, government, schools, community-based organizations, business, neighborhood and faith-based groups, and individual citizens. Anyone is welcome to attend these meetings where HIP objective progress is shared, opportunities for collaboration are identified, and best practices occurring in the realm of community health improvement are discussed . 

1.) How are health and academics linked?

  • “Education is one of the strongest predictors of health: the more schooling people have the better their health is likely to be. Although education is highly correlated with income and occupation, evidence suggests that education exerts the strongest influence on health (1-4). More formal education is consistently associated with lower death rates (4), while less education predicts earlier death. The less schooling people have, the higher their levels of risky health behaviors such as smoking, being overweight, or having a low level of physical activity (5). High school completion is a useful measure of educational attainment because its influence on health is well studied, and it is widely recognized as the minimum entry requirement for higher education and well-paid employment.” (CDC report on Reframing School Dropout as a Public Health Issue)
  • Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth
    The MiPHY is an online student health survey offered by the Michigan Departments of Education and Community Health to support local and regional needs assessment. The MiPHY provides student results on health risk behaviors including substance use, violence, physical activity, nutrition, sexual behavior, and emotional health in grades 7, 9, and 11. The survey also measures risk and protective factors most predictive of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use and violence. MiPHY results, along with other school-reported data, will help schools make data-driven decisions to improve programming funded under the Title IV Safe and Drug-Free Schools (SDFS) program of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 as well as other prevention and health promotion programming. MiPHY fact sheet
  • MI-School allows stakeholders to explore the Michigan education system through interactive maps and reports. Traditional, charter, and private school performance data is integrated with community-level population, crime, economic, and health data by shading maps and filtering school performance.

2.) W-A-Y Washtenaw
WAY Washtenaw is an exciting, new program using cutting-edge technology to reinforce an individual’s educational freedom, all while achieving their high school diploma.The WAY Program is online, project-based learning environment. Researchers (the students) are required to make email contact with their online mentors everyday, 365 days a year. Additionally, researchers are mandated to go to their prescribed lab two days a week, minimum of two hours per visit. The learning environment is based on the First Class application. Inside this environment, the researchers have 24/7 support from Michigan certified teachers (mentors) and a staff of technology experts. Every researcher has a devoted mentor to help them out with their educational needs. For more information, contact Sarena Shivers, Director of School Services at Washtenaw Intermediate School District.

3.) Regional Alliance for Healthy Schools
The Regional Alliance for Healthy Schools maintains five school-based health centers in Washtenaw County. The health centers provide on site health services to students and implement intervention programs targeting asthma, substance use, and nutrition/physical activity.

Services provided on site:

  • Physical Examinations/Sports Participation Exams
  • Acute Illness Management (sick care)
  • Chronic Illness Prevention Education and Management
  • Immunizations
  • Adolescent Risk Behavior Assessments and Health Counseling (RAAPS)
  • Individual, Group and Family Counseling
  • Dental Screenings and Treatment by Mobile Dentists
  • Laboratory Tests
  • Referrals for Community Resources
  • Insurance Enrollment
  • Spanish Translation Services

Programs include:

  • Asthma Program, which aims to increase school attendance rates, increase knowledge about asthma and self-care practices, and positively improve asthma control among asthmatic children
  • Project SUCCESS (Schools Using Coordinated Community Efforts to Strengthen Students), a SAMHSA evidence-based model program designed to reduce substance abuse among adolescents with a prevention education series, school-wide activities, a parent program, and individual and group counseling
  • Nutrition & Physical Activity Program, which targets students who are identified as at risk or overweight according to their body mass index (BMI) and includes a walking club, individual nutrition counseling, nutrition/physical activity group education, and individual goal-setting projects

4.) Next CHC meeting: 9/20/2011

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