Emory University | Woodruff Health Sciences Center
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Evaluating school-based health centers

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Many children who have a hard time getting to a doctor's office do make it to school on most days.

So a movement has sprung up to bring health care to where children spend the bulk of their day.

Emory researchers, including Carol Hogue, epidemiology professor, Kathleen Adams, health policy and management professor, and Veda Johnson, associate professor of pediatrics, received a five-year $1 million award from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities to evaluate school-based health centers in Georgia. Hogue and her colleagues will measure how effective these centers are at improving school attendance, preventing and reducing childhood obesity, reducing emergency room visits, improving asthma management, and encouraging healthy lifestyles.

The three school-based health centers Hogue is evaluating serve disadvantaged student populations in diverse settings—Hispanics in a metro Atlanta school, blacks in an Albany school, and whites in a rural northwest Georgia school. The centers may serve as a model to help reduce disparities and raise the bar for care for all children.

It's a bar that could stand being raised. According to a national study on the well-being of America's children, Georgia ranked 43rd for overall child well-being. More than 237,000 of the state's children are uninsured, with very limited access to routine health care.

"We believe that school-based health centers will help establish a system of care that eliminates all barriers to health care, such as cost, hours of operation, transportation, and others," explains Hogue, the Jules and Uldeen Terry Professor of Maternal and Child Health at Rollins.

Related Resources:

"Researchers conduct school-based health center evaluations" (1/14/2015)

National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities

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