The Department of Health (DHH) – Office of Public Health recently awarded grants to five local communities to develop six school-based health centers.  The grants of up to $50,000 will allow schools to provide convenient, high quality health care services to students.

Awardees included:
• Jefferson Parish Public School System (John Ehret High in Marrero)
• Morehouse Community Medical Centers (Morehouse Jr. High in Bastrop)
• Lafayette Parish School System (Carencro High in Lafayette)
• St. Francis Medical Center (Richwood High School and Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Monroe)
• St. Charles Community Health Center (Albert Cammon Middle School in St. Rose)

The Office of Public Health currently funds 62 school-based health centers throughout the state, providing access to health care to over 60,000 students.  In 2007, there were 125,007 student visits made to school-based health centers in Louisiana.  Services include sports physicals, immunizations, acute care for illness and injuries, management of chronic diseases such as asthma and diabetes, counseling services and wellness programs. 

 “Keeping students healthy and learning in school is paramount to their success later in life,” said LDH Secretary Alan Levine.  “We are extremely grateful to Governor Jindal and the Louisiana Legislature for their continued support of school-based health centers in our state and the increased funding this year to expand the program.”

Funding for the grants was made possible through a combination of state general funds and Maternal and Child Health Block Grant dollars.  The grants were awarded through a competitive process.

The awardees will begin planning this fall with the goal of becoming fully operational by August of 2009.