Columbus, Ohio-Children’s Advocacy Group School Health Center A valuable investment for the children of Ohio.
Tracy Najera’s executive director, Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio, said being able to meet medical needs at school gives children and families a “medical home” for primary care and other services. She said a child’s physical and mental health is the foundation for success in school and in life.
“Especially during this pandemic, children and families are really struggling and suffering,” she said. “Behavioral and health problems have reached critical levels and, in general, many children are not visited by healthy children. “
Ohio has at least $ 3 billion in unallocated US Rescue Planning Act payback, Ohio Children’s Budget Union wants the governor’s office to invest $ 25 million per year over two years to help school districts in the state to develop or establish school health services programs. Najera said the investment could fund 15 to 30 projects.
According to Najera, the convenience of a school health center not only improves access to care, but also reduces absenteeism.
“It’s one less day of work for parents to miss and one less day of school for their children,” she said. “So it makes a lot of sense to really provide a service where the kids are.”
Najera added that the center is part of the “Whole Children” program promoted by the Ohio Children’s Budget Union.
“Children need food, they need housing, they need education, they need medical care. To really thrive and prosper, they need all of these, ”she said. “Children should not collapse, nor should our budgetary and political decisions. “
New report from the American Academy of Pediatrics It said the number of school health centers has more than doubled in the United States since 1998. There are more than 60 schools in Ohio.
Source: Ohio News Connection
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