Online Program

School-Community collaborations improve school health systems:: Results from the School Health Systems Change Project

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Bonni Hodges, Ph.D, Health Department, State University of New York, College at Cortland, Cortland, NY
Donna Videto, Ph.D, MCHES, Health Department, State University of New York, College at Cortland, Cortland, NY
The 5-year School Health Systems Change Project worked with school districts in CNY to update and improve school health systems. Intervention and comparison districts each received a full school health needs assessment and evaluation of their efforts to change. Intervention districts received technical assistance in moving forward with planned changes and institutionalization tailored to the needs and priorities determined by the district after the needs assessment. This abstract focuses on the project evaluation findings related to school district collaboration with community health agencies. Methodology: Pre/post quasi-experimental design was used for the evaluation. School and community health agency public document review; key informant interviews (n=73) and focus groups (n=23) with school personnel, parents, and members of the communities served by the school districts were conducted. Analysis of the qualitative data via key words and themes was completed.  Results: Intervention districts were more successful in moving through identification, planning, and implementation of school health systems changes when they worked collaboratively and collectively with community health-related agencies outside the schools; districts with active defined, wellness councils that included community agency representatives were more open to change, went further in executing strategic planning, and were better able to adapt to new mandates; that included community agency representatives were more likely to institutionalize a role for community-health agencies in their school health systems. Conclusions: Schools and community health agencies need training on how to collaborate; a training toolkit for wellness councils specific to NY public education systems should be developed.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Assess social, environmental, and political conditions that may impact school health education and school-community collaboration; Describe how to encourage school-community agency collaboration for the improvement of child health

Keyword(s): School-Based Health, Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principle or co-principle on multiple state and local grants focused on school health systems, youth obesity, and community cardiovascular disease prevention. I am principle author of "Assessment and Planning in Health Programs".
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.