225944 Innovative team approach to assist schools to complete the School Health Index and address school wellness

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Lynn Fredericks, BA , FamilyCook Productions, New York, NY
Judith Wylie-Rosett, EdD, RD , Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
David Lounsbury, PhD , Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health Division of Community Collaboration and Implementation Science, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY
Alison Maringo, BA , Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia University School of Medicine, New York, NY
The National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's School Health Index (SHI) is a self-assessment tool designed to assist schools with identifying strengths and weaknesses of health and safety policies and developing action plans for improving school and community health. HealthCorps, in partnership with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and FamilyCook Productions, is piloting a streamlined methodology for supporting their network of 50 schools across the U.S. to conduct the SHI as part of HealthCorps effort to improve health of the school community.

The streamlined approach breaks the school wellness planning group into smaller teams to complete the 8 SHI modules to make completing the SHI less time-consuming but thorough assessment. Under the CDC protocols, one point person would require about 6 hours total to obtain the necessary information for 8 modules from a wide range of stakeholders within the school community. In this streamlined approach, personnel involved in the school's wellness planning (including students) are identified by faculty or from health and wellness elective courses and are invited to help with the SHI assessment. Interested participants complete a short survey to elicit their confidence to assess their school for each of eight health and safety topic areas addressed in the SHI. During a one-hour SHI assessment session, participants are grouped with others with like competencies to evaluate their school's capacity to provide a healthy infrastructure. After information is tallied and scored, based on the SCI scoring mechanism, the group comes together to reflect on the areas of need identified and agree on priorities for further improvement.

To date, the first pilot school included teachers, school health clinic personnel, principal and assistant principal, PA teacher, school counselor, school nurse and two students. The smaller teams were highly interactive with discussion of differences in perceptions and goals. All of the modules were completed within the allotted hour. Feedback from the teams and observation of the group process was used to refine the instructions for use in the other pilot schools. The processes learned and developed through this initial SHI implementation will be implemented in all fifty HealthCorps schools nationwide.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
1) Construct a streamlined approach to the CDC School Health Index (SHI). 2) Identify the key stakeholders necessary to provide input to all 8 modules within the SHI. 3) Identify strategies to motivate school stakeholders to take a team approach to conducting the SHI at their school.

Keywords: School Health, Assessments

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: i have 15 years of experience in this topic area and have presented on it before at APHA
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.