New school-based health centers to open – Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas

Banner 1024x308 New school based health centers to open – Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas

Eight new school-based health centers will soon be opening in the Second District, in locations that are easy to access and in communities where there is the most need.

In many neighborhoods and communities throughout the district, chronic health conditions such as childhood obesity, asthma and mental health disorders, are significantly higher than in other parts of the County. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas pledged to expand health care in the district when he took office in 2008, and he has since partnered with the Los Angeles Unified School District, Compton Unified School District and community health clinics to open centers that will serve both students on campus as well as all County residents.

The first two clinics, at Jefferson High School and Carson High School, open this month with the construction of the other sites to be completed by January 2013. We invite you to join us at ribbon cutting ceremonies when we gather to celebrate the opening of each new center, and we will announce the times and dates once they are set. A school clinic is also being planned at Crenshaw High School, and it should be completed by January 2014.

As healthcare costs have soared over the years school-based health centers have become valuable community resources, providing efficient and cost effective services that keep our children strong and ready to learn and to thrive. Long a champion of their development and use, the Supervisor, as a member of the assembly, sponsored AB 2560 to collect data on public school health centers in California and track health issues unique to school-aged youth. Then in 2008, he sponsored SB 564 to expand the definition of school-based health centers, allowing them to more easily implement various child health and disease prevention programs.

Since 2009, LAUSD and Compton Unified have been collaborating with key stakeholders to build wellness centers that meet the needs of the school community, and one of the Supervisor’s first acts upon taking office in 2009, was to implement a plan for more such centers. In partnership with the school districts, the County awarded $ 6.2 million Countywide, of which $ 4.1 million went to community health organizations for school health centers in the Second District.

For more information on the new health centers’, locations, services and hours of operation, please see the adjacent site profiles and fact box.

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