Online Program

Directing funding towards school wellness coordinators vs. school wellness programming

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Kelley McDonough, MPH, School Health Connection, Louisiana Public Health Institute, New Orleans, LA
Taslim van Hattum, LMSW, MPH, School Health Connection, Louisiana Public Health Institute, New Orleans, LA
Marsha Broussard, DrPH, School Health Connection, Louisiana Public Health Institute, New Orleans, LA
School Health Connection (SHC), a program of the Louisiana Public Health Institute, began implementing comprehensive wellness programs in New Orleans public schools in 2009. The School Wellness Program pilot demonstrated that in order to be most effective, all school health and wellness programs within a school should be coordinated. From 2009-2012, the first three years of the School Wellness Program, SHC directly employed School Wellness Coordinators and placed those coordinators into 12 participating public schools. Recurring challenges to programmatic success were found both related to school buy-in, administrative commitment, and ambiguity around reporting and expectations of services and delivery. In 2012, owing to these challenges, SHC released a request for application to award a school district/charter school operator funds to independently hire their own on-site School Wellness Coordinator to deliver the School Wellness Program. This new strategy of supplementing school staff, instead of continuing with external programming brought into schools, was intended to increase school commitment, clarify roles, and encourage the longer term institutionalization of staffing for wellness. This new funding provided full monies in the first year for staffing, and gradually reduces by a percentage to be made up by the school over the next three years through matching funds. This will allow schools to slowly establish School Wellness Coordinators as a sustainable position, thus ensuring overall coordinated wellness programming flourishes. This presentation will discuss strategies for increasing school commitment to wellness programs and how non-traditional funding relationships with schools can enhance the sustainability of school wellness programs.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Discuss strategies used for developing non-traditional funding relationships with schools to increase program institutionalization and success. Explain the role of a School Wellness Coordinator and how this position works to establish coordinated school health and wellness. Identify how funding a school-employed School Wellness Coordinator can enhance student health services through aiding schools in creating sustainable comprehensive school wellness programs.

Keyword(s): Funding, School Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a School Wellness Program Coordinator with School Health Connection for two years. I have worked with 13 New Orleans schools to facilitate the development and implementation of comprehensive school wellness programs. I co-developed the request for application that is discussed in this presentation. I currently provide technical assistance to the School Wellness Coordinator whose position is funded through this grant.
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.

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