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ChristianaCare Expands School Health Clinic Program

Analysis  |  By Eric Wicklund  
   February 16, 2024

The Delaware health system now has school-based health centers in 25 schools, with a goal to give students better access to a variety of primary care services.

ChristianaCare is expanding its school-based healthcare program to three more schools, aiming to reduce barriers to care faced by many students.

The Delaware-based health system now operates school-based health centers in six elementary schools and 19 high and middle schools. The latest wellness centers were launched through a partnership with the Delaware School-Based Health Alliance, the schools and school districts and local government, with funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.

“Through the opening of these three new school-based health centers, these children now have convenient access to medical services, behavioral health services and wraparound social care,” Erin Booker, LPC, the health system’s chief bio-psycho-social officer, said in a press release. These centers can improve their health and education and set them on a lifelong path of wellness.”

The centers will provide, at no cost, comprehensive medical and mental healthcare, ranging from treatment to education. This includes screenings, women’s health, treatment of minor injuries, immunizations, nutrition and weight management, crisis intervention and suicide prevention, tobacco cessation, and substance abuse treatment and referrals. They won’t offer hospitalizations, x-rays or complex lab tests, or ongoing treatment for more complex medical and psychiatric problems.

“School-based health centers are the connection of whole-child health and education,” Priscilla Mpasi, MD, FAAP, assistant medical director for the Clinically Integrated Network and Delaware Medicaid Partners, part of the ChristianaCare network, said in the press release. “As we all know, early intervention is the key to wellness. Children can learn better when they are happy and healthy and know they have a safe place to go when they need care.”

The health centers aim to improve care management for children who might face barriers to accessing care. The Children’s Health Fund estimates that 20.3 million children in the U.S., or about 28% of the total population of children, face barriers to accessing essential healthcare. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some 40% of school-aged children and teens are living with at least one chronic health condition, such as asthma, diabetes, obesity, or behavioral health problems.

Eric Wicklund is the associate content manager and senior editor for Innovation at HealthLeaders.


ChristianaCare is adding school-based health centers in three Delaware elementary schools

The center will provide a range of medical and mental health coverage at no cost to students and families

Millions of children in the U.S. face barriers, such as transportation, to accessing essential healthcare

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