Be Healthy Wednesdays! Bronx Students, School Health Advocates Advance on Albany

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, Breaking Bronx features a health-related story, event or tidbit as part of an online expansion of our Be Healthy! column.

Students from the Montefiore School Health Program at PS 95 in the Norwood Section join other Bronx schools to board the buses to Albany for School Based health Programs Advocacy Day.

Bronx Students, School Health Advocates Advance on Albany

A group of Bronx students, parents and teachers affiliated with Montefiore Medical Center traveled to the state capitol yesterday to take part in an advocacy day event, looking to drum up political support for school-based health centers–full service health clinics, situated in schools, which provide care for students there, a tactic advocates say is effective in improving health outcomes for young people in low-income and minority communities.

Over 200 people from across the state attended the Albany event, and students participated in open mic sessions to discuss the impact school health centers have on their lives, with the goal of creating awareness and demanding continued financial support from the state government for the program.

Studies conducted by Montefiore have shown that School-Based Health Centers (SBCHs) ultimately save money by stressing the importance of primary and preventative care for youths,  reducing the annual number of expensive emergency room and hospital visits. A 2005 study conducted found that Montefiore’s school-based centers reduced hospitalizations by half for asthmatic student, and estimated that SBHCs saved the state $3 million in hospital inpatient costs alone for children with asthma.

Montefiore’s School Health Program was launched 25 years ago, and now includes 19 sites at elementary, middle and high schools throughout the Bronx, providing primary health care, mental health care and counseling, and reproductive health services for high school students.

Montefiore CEO Dr. Steven Sayfer was awarded the Coalition for School-Based Health Centers “Visionary for School Health Award.”

“Montefiore’s school-based health programs provide comprehensive and integrated medical, mental, dental and community health care to more than 25,000 children in the Bronx,” he said in a statement. “The award truly recognizes the dedication and commitment of Montefiore’s health care professionals who keep our children healthy, active and engaged in school.”

Photo courtesy St. Barnabas Hospital

St. Barnabas’ Teddy Bear Clinic Eases Fears
This Sunday, St. Barnabas Hospital’s department of pediatrics invited children from the community to bring their favorite stuffed friends in for a check-up–part of the hospital’s “Teddy Bear Clinic” that aims to dispel kids’ fears about doctors. In the photo above, Dr. Ying Chuu, a pediatric emergency medicine physician bandages a bear with a broken arm for 2-year-old Samir Youmans. The Teddy Roosevelt Association donated more than 100 teddy bears to the children.

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