News Release

Health Department of Northwest Michigan
serving Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego Counties
Visit us at www.nwhealth.org


Health Department and Pellston schools working together to bring student health center to campus

(March 17, 2009) The Health Department of Northwest Michigan and Pellston Public Schools will be working together over the next six months to plan a child and adolescent health center on the school campus, supported with grant funding from the Michigan Departments of Community Health and Education.

School-based health centers are primary care clinics providing medical and mental health screening and treatment for children and youth age 5 to 21 who live in underserved areas.

“We’re delighted the state has selected Pellston for a Child & Adolescent Health Center Planning Grant,” said William Tebbe, Superintendent for Pellston Public Schools. “We’ll be working hard over the next few months with the Health Department to demonstrate the need for a school-based health center on our campus.”

According to Linda Yaroch, Deputy Health Officer for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, child and adolescent health centers have been delivering comprehensive health care and a wide range of support services through schools for 20 years.

“Healthy kids learn better,” she said. “Moving primary care services into schools like Pellston where families have to travel far distances to see their doctors gives children and adolescents access to care in an environment that is unique to their needs and conveniently located.”

The Health Department will be conducting several activities to demonstrate Pellston’s need for a school-based health center, including surveys of students, parents, and staff, focus groups of parents, and interviews with community leaders. With input from a Community Advisory Committee, staff will develop a proposal to the State for a Child & Adolescent Health Center Implementation Grant.

Research and evaluations have demonstrated school-based health centers represent cost-effective investments in public resources. According to the School/Community Health Alliance of Michigan, school-based health centers have been shown to—

In addition to the Pellston project, Michigan Departments of Community Health and Education awarded Planning Grants to Detroit Edison Public School Academy, District Health Department #10/Cadillac Area Schools; Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD/Tahquamenon Area Schools; Grand Traverse County Health Department/Kingsley Area Schools; Hackley Community Care in Muskegon County; Spectrum Hospital/Lakeview Community Schools; and South Redford School District.

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality health care, address health problems of vulnerable populations and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties. For additional information about the Pellston Child & Adolescent Health Center Planning Grant, contact Jane Sundmacher at the Health Department of Northwest Michigan at 347-5041 or j.sundmacher@nwhealth.org


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