MetroHealth School Health Program Awarded Nearly $4.5M to Expand Services
The MetroHealth System will be able to increase its comprehensive school-based health services with two school district partners, expand health clinics in Cleveland schools and begin to offer dental care in some schools thanks to a new state grant of nearly $4.5 million.
MetroHealth’s School Health Program was the largest single recipient among the $25.9 million awarded for 136 new or expanded School-Based Health Centers throughout Ohio.
The funding will cover 15 months and support MetroHealth’s programs in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) and Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District.
“We’re looking at our overall mission of increasing access to health care with our partners so we can advocate and support the health and well-being of our youth,” said Katie Davis, MSN, RN, PHNA-BC, Director, Center for Health Outreach, Access & Prevention. “We’re happy to have this support from the state. We’ve always known school-based health centers have great success for both health and educational outcomes. This opportunity allows us to grow and to expand our services to better serve our students, families, and school partners.”
The MetroHealth School Health Program – part of the Institute for H.O.P.E.™ – was developed to make sure all children get the health care they need, including children who may not have access to a health care provider. It brings the power of MetroHealth to a very convenient place: a child's school.
“Studies have shown that health and wellness are interconnected,” Governor DeWine said in a press release. “A student who is not healthy or who is chronically absent is not able to achieve their full potential. These partnerships between healthcare providers and schools supports the whole child and ensures that every child may realize their full potential.”
MetroHealth’s School Health Program will review the opportunity to increase the hours and days of operation for school health clinics in both the CMSD and the Cleveland Heights – University Heights School District, as well potentially expanding services to include school staff and students’ families, Davis said.
The School Health Program currently serves 13 CMSD schools, the entire Cleveland Heights – University Heights School District, and additional school health partners.
This new funding will allow the School Health Team to consider:
- Expanding integrated primary care services with both district partners
- Adding oral health and dental care at designated CMSD school clinics
- Piloting new telehealth services, both in primary care and mental health
- Expanding care coordination and case management (Community Health Workers)
- Adding additional CMSD clinic sites
- Renovating the Cleveland Heights-University Heights high school clinic and selected CMSD school clinic sites
- Providing support to additional existing school health partners
Additionally MetroHealth will work with school partners and the Ohio Department of Health in attending an ODH coordinated Training Academy and developing sustainability resources.
“We’re successful because of the great relationships we have developed with our school districts and community members. It’s exciting to hear from students, schools, and the community about their health needs and collaborating to provide services that meet those needs,” Davis said.
Funding is being made available through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Additional funds are being made available through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief fund. Management of construction and capital expenses will be coordinated in partnership with the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Health.
Founded in 1837, MetroHealth is leading the way to a healthier you and a healthier community through service, teaching, discovery, and teamwork. Cuyahoga County’s public, safety-net hospital system, MetroHealth meets people where they are, providing care through four hospitals, four emergency departments, and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites. Each day, our 8,000 employees focus on providing our community with equitable health care–through patient-focused research, access to care, and support services–that seeks to eradicate health disparities rooted in systematic barriers. For more information, visit metrohealth.org.