Grant to help more students receive health care

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The Cincinnati Health Department has received a half million dollar grand that will fund school-based health centers at two local schools.

The grand was awarded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to the Cincinnati Health Department, working in collaboration with the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati and Cincinnati Public Schools.

The health centers will be located at Oyler Community Learning Center and Withrow High School.

The local grants were among $95 million in competitive federal grants to fund 278 school-based health centers nationwide.

Oyler Community Learning Center school-based health center in Price Hill will receive a $150,000 to build an Eye Center which will open at the start of the 2012 school year. A number of partners including the Cincinnati Eye Institute Foundation, Ohio Optometry Association and OneSight are participating. The eye center at Oyler will be available for use by any CPS student in need. Additionally, Withrow High School campus will utilize $350,000 to begin building a state of the art 1,500 square-foot SBHC for its students this winter.

"Our public and private partners are to be commended. School-based health centers improve the health and success of students by providing services where students are," said Dr. Marilyn Crumpton, Medical Director for the Division of School and Adolescent Health at the Cincinnati Health Department.

At the award announcement US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, "We know that if kids aren't healthy then kids can't learn. These grants will make it a lot easier for working moms and dads to help get their children the health care they need and deserve. This unprecedented investment in school-based health care will bring communities closer together and help children succeed in the classroom."

The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati has supported school-based health centers since 1999. Today, 15 centers are operating in Greater Cincinnati, including Northern Kentucky and another is being planned. It also recently awarded planning grants to the Cincinnati Health Department to assist three more Cincinnati Public Schools (Western Hills, Dater High School and Quebec School) in developing SBHCs, and to help position them to obtain federal grants.

School-based health centers improve the overall health and wellness of children through health screenings, health promotion and disease prevention and enable children with acute or chronic illnesses to attend school.

"Academic results are on the rise in Cincinnati Public Schools, with our most recent state test scores showing consistently strong gains. But we know that if our students don't feel well, they won't learn well. School-based health services will help us prevent interruptions to learning and continue the momentum of progress that our students and community need," said Mary Ronan, Superintendent Cincinnati Public Schools.

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