For roughly two decades, Adena Health System has partnered with school districts across the region to provide for the health and safety of their students. Beginning with athletic training services for student-athletes, those partnerships have continued to grow over the years and now include significant new investments that will help partner districts further meet the needs of young people in their communities.
“These partnerships build upon Adena’s commitment to provide not only the highest quality clinical care close to home but to support the overall health of our communities,” said Steve Keating, director of employer and institutional development for the health system. “Many of our caregivers have children attending schools in the communities we serve and face the same challenges as other students and families in working toward a brighter future. Through this commitment and with the help of our partnering school districts, we hope to achieve that future together.”
Those type of formal partnerships took shape about 20 years ago when Adena began providing free athletic training services and physician volunteers at sporting events to several area schools. As Adena has facilitated community health assessments with regional partners in the years since, it has started utilizing that information to work with school districts in completing district level assessments to chart the best path forward on health outcomes for students, teachers and the communities served by those districts.
Having that data available provides several opportunities to craft plans of action. Among that action is an $18.2 million investment over the next 10 years in an initiative involving several school districts across the nine counties served by Adena. This initiative, among other things, will continue the health system’s commitment regarding athletic training services and supplies, provide the resources and expertise needed to help complete a health and wellness plan that meets requirements of the Ohio Department of Education’s Whole Child Program, and provide assistance for a variety of special projects to meet school needs.
The health and wellness planning will utilize information from both the community and district health needs assessments to help guide development of health and wellness programs and community partnerships to improve overall health and wellness within the school community.
School districts that are partnering with the health system in this initiative include Adena, Chillicothe, Huntington, Southeastern, Union-Scioto and Zane Trace districts in Ross County; the Greenfield schools in Highland County; the Waverly and Scioto Valley (Piketon) schools in Pike County; the Miami Trace and Washington Court House schools in Fayette County; the Wellston City Schools in Jackson County; and the Teays Valley Local Schools in Pickaway County.
The health system also is continuing its commitment to all student-athletes, making available more convenient opportunities to receive sports physical exams. Going beyond screenings, additional services being offered through mobile school primary care include complete annual wellness exams, immunization updates, support for chronic conditions, and primary care mental health support. Telehealth services will also be implemented at partner schools to offer access to episodic care across the rural region.
Other initiatives have involved partnerships in combating the opioid epidemic across southern Ohio, making investments that have enhanced the economic health of the region and expanding access to programs that help lead individuals down a path to a healthier lifestyle.
This story was provided by Jason Gilham, communications manager, Adena Health System.