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ChristianaCare opens 3 more school-based health centers

Staff WriterHealth, RSS-Health

Richardson Park SBHC Ribbon Cutting 800x600 2

To address health concerns when they are at their earliest, most preventable stages, ChristianaCare has opened three new school-based health centers in Delaware elementary schools:

• Brookside Elementary School in Newark – part of the Christina School District.
• Silver Lake Elementary School in Middletown – part of the Appoquinimink School District.
• Richardson Park Elementary School in Wilmington – part of the Red Clay School District.

Erin Booker, LPC

“At ChristianaCare, we recognize that early intervention is vital in order to address the comprehensive health needs of adolescents in our community,” said Erin Booker, LPC, chief bio-psycho-social officer at ChristianaCare. “Childhood trauma hurts the ability of children to learn and increases their risk of chronic disease and mental health issues.”

‘A lifelong path of wellness’

“Through the opening of these three new school-based health centers,” Booker said, “these children now have convenient access to medical services, behavioral health services and wraparound social care. These centers can improve their health and education and set them on a lifelong path of wellness.”

These new elementary school wellness centers are a partnership of ChristianaCare, the Delaware School-Based Health Alliance, the schools and school districts, supported by New Castle County government with funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.

With the latest additions, ChristianaCare now operates school-based health centers in six elementary schools and 19 high schools and middle schools.

Each ChristianaCare school-based health center includes a health care team of medical, mental health, community health and nutrition experts. The health centers also provide a host of services by appointment during the school day. A parent or guardian must provide a signed permission form prior to a student’s first visit to a health center.

‘Early intervention is the key’

Priscilla Mpasi, M.D.

“At ChristianaCare, we serve together, guided by our values of love and excellence, and that mission of service is why we are committed to improving the health and well-being of the community,” said Priscilla Mpasi, M.D., FAAP, assistant medical director for the Clinically Integrated Network and Delaware Medicaid Partners.

“School-based health centers are the connection of whole-child health and education. 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.”

At no cost to the students, and located within each elementary school, the three school-based health centers also alleviate the need for parents and students to find transportation to address their health care needs.

Where children can learn, grow and succeed

“Ensuring that our students are prepared to learn is crucial, but it can be challenging when they are dealing with various obstacles,” said Dan Shelton, Ed.D., superintendent of Christina School District. “That’s why our collaboration with ChristianaCare and New Castle County presents an incredible opportunity to bring essential services directly to our school.

“By establishing an in-school wellness center at Brookside Elementary School, we are thrilled to provide our students with the support they need to be fully prepared and eager to learn,” he said.

“Empowering our future starts with nurturing the health and well-being of our youngest minds,” said Dorrell Green, Ed.D., superintendent of the Red Clay Consolidated School District, which oversees the new school-based health center at Richardson Park.

“Elementary school-based health centers play a pivotal role in fostering a thriving community by providing accessible, comprehensive health care, ensuring every child has the opportunity to learn, grow and succeed,” he said.

“We are so grateful to open the first school-based health center at an elementary school in Appoquinimink School District,” said Superintendent Matt Burrows.

“This wouldn’t be possible without the partnership of New Castle County government and the Delaware School-Based Health Alliance. The services provided by school-based health centers span a large array of care – including physicals, vaccinations, mental health and more. The services that are being provided by ChristianaCare are invaluable for our students and their families.”

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