Ten New Health Centers to Open in Cincinnati Schools
Ten new health centers are expected to open in the next two years inside Cincinnati Public School buildings. These facilities will provide health care access for 6,230 low-income students in the school district. School-based health centers offer services such as vaccinations, dental and vision checks, and mental health support. CPS officials said that the existing health centers have improved graduation rates, test scores, and attendance at their Community Learning Centers.
Last year, there were sudden funding cuts to the Cincinnati Health Department’s school nurse program, so the district explored partnerships with businesses and health care providers. The expansion of health centers in Cincinnati is possible because of new partnerships between non-profits, government groups, and health care. The expansion plan is seen by the Cincinnati health department as "an example of what can happen when government works."
National Association of School Based Health Centers President Linda Juszczak, a member of the Coalition’s steering committee, said Cincinnati is unique in the way it has managed to leverage local financial support and in how it has meshed its health offerings with its Community Learning Centers – centers within the schools that offer "wrap around" support for low-income kids like tutoring, after school programs and meals.