NHPS Health and Wellness Annual Reports Support Students

New Haven Public Schools
Health & Wellness Department in 2017-2018
New Haven Public Schools Health & Wellness Department works hard to coordinate, educate and support district and community efforts that promote the physical, social and emotional well-being of students, staff and families. Our goal is to ensure that all students have access to needed health services, are healthy, engaged learners and able to reach their full potential in school and in life.
The School Health Center Program operates 17 school health centers and 9 dental clinics that are staffed by the District and our health partners (Yale New Haven Hospital, Fair Haven Community Health Center, Cornell-Scott Hill Health Center, Clifford Beers Clinic, and New Haven Health Department). Our SHCs offer medical, behavioral and dental services.
Among the department core tasks: school health centers and dental clinics; Healthy Schools program; health education (with Physical Education department); District Wellness Committee; compliance with health requirements for school entry; mandated vision and hearing screenings (with school health assistants and school nurses); Healthy Attendance Matters! initiative; annual Health & Wellness Summit. 
To improve awareness of our programs and resources, we created a new website, a school health newsletter and a promotional video.
2017-2018 HIGHLIGHTS:
Nearly 6,700 students used our SHCs in 2017-2018, an increase of over 800 students compared to 2016-2017. There were 18,485 visits to our SHCs.
SHCs keep students in school: 99% of students seen in a SHC were sent back to class.
This year, over 1,000 students needing immunizations or physical exams for school entry were given them at a School Health Center.
As a result of these collaborative efforts, compliance for school entry health requirements increased from less than 60% three years ago to 90% compliance among students this year!
Healthy Attendance Matters! is the health “arm” of our District’s Attendance Matters! initiative to increase daily attendance of students and reduce chronic absenteeism. According to 2016-2018 data, our nurse practitioners saw 3,161 students for “urgent visits” and nearly 80% (2,465) of them returned to class after the visit, thereby preventing missed class time for these students. In 2017-2018, 742 students had a “walk-in assessment” by a SHC nurse practitioner, and 616 of them were sent to class (83%) thereby preventing absenteeism for that school day. Our program addresses all top five health reasons for absenteeism: asthma, dental problems, acute illnesses, and obesity.
Of the 176 asthma action plans created in 2017-2018, more than half were created by SHC nurse practitioners.
A total of 819 visits to the SHC were for asthma. 746, or 91% of them, resulted in students returning to class.
Of 146 students seen over time for asthma in SHCs 77 had no visits to the ER, and 23 had fewer visits to the ER; 73 students had well controlled asthma; 97 had improved.
In 2017-2018, a total of 1373 students received dental care in our school clinics.
Dental staff screened 2,747 students, which is 554 more than last year.
68% of screened had moderate/severe risk of tooth decay. The national average is only 20%!
Nearly 500 students needed sealants and further dental care.
An average preventive dental visit results in about 2 hours of missed school time for children. There were 1,612 visits to our dental clinics this year for services, which prevented 3,224 hours of missed school.
Of the 2,829 vaccines given at our SHCs this year, more than half (1,638) were flu shots.
SHC staff made over 300 class presentations about illness prevention.
9 SHCs lead school-wide hand washing campaigns and supplied classes with Kleenex and hand sanitizers.
8 SHCs lead school-wide flu clinics to all students and staff.
In 2017-2018, 633 students were seen for mental health needs. There were more than 6,000 visits total (one third of all visits).
99% of students seen for mental health were sent back to class.
As a result of group and family therapy for enrolled students, 95 students reported improved mood, 68 students had parent reported improved behavior at home, 35 students had teacher reported improved behavior in school, 59 had student reported improved behaviors.
In 2017-2018, SHCs screened over 3,000 students for obesity, over one third more than last year.
710 students were seen for obesity with more than 1000 visits (11% of all medical visits).
As a result of counseling, skill development, and regular monitoring provided by our nurse practitioners, 91 students showed improvements in one or more of the following: increased awareness of healthy behaviors, improved dietary changes, increased exercise. 16 students had lowered their BMIs.
Unmet health needs are huge barriers to academic success. Further, low-income, urban and minority children often have poor access to healthcare, greater exposure to stress and trauma, and experience higher rates of asthma, obesity, ADHD, PTSD, and untreated dental decay than their peers. NHPS is committed to supporting the “whole child” through its many programs and partnerships, with SHCs playing a central role in addressing student health needs in school through integrative medical, behavioral and dental services. Since SHCs provide equal, free access to care at school for all students, we can also reduce health disparities.
Full Health & Wellness Department Annual report is published on its website here.
See the full 2017-18 Annual Reports in the links below.