Authority Health, Southfield Education Officials Dedicate Ira Land Family Health Center
Above: Dr. Ira Land
Healthy kids learn better. It’s a simple, common-sense idea which was referenced by several speakers at the dedication of the Ira Land Family Health Center in Southfield’s Adlai Stevenson School, on Nov. 10.
Loretta Bush, president and CEO of Authority Health, welcomed dignitaries to the school with comments that linked this new school-based health center to Authority Health’s vision – “all people living health lives in all communities.” That begins with children.
She remarked on the privilege to “partner with this great Southfield School District, great school, great principal, and great staff. They know what it means to be healthy – mentally and physically.”
Zeena Elhasan, vice chair of the Authority Health Board of Directors, noted that the Ira Land Family Health Center contributes to Authority Health’s mission to strengthen the health care safety net by promoting access to health services for all. “School-based health centers are an important access point for young people to access high quality health care services through urgent need or on a routine or preventive basis – for all children, in Adlai Stevenson School as well as the surrounding community.”
Dr. Jennifer Martin-Green, superintendent of Southfield Schools, noted that a critical objective in fostering a learning environment for students is “keeping them in class.” A health center embedded in the school helps make that happen. “What better way to ensure that our scholars have health care in the school” than to have a school-based health center?
School-based health centers promote health and educational equity by reducing absenteeism, connecting families to health coverage, reducing hospital emergency visits, and providing reimbursable health services. Earlier this year, Authority Health was approved to establish a Child and Adolescent Health Center at Stevenson School, through a $180,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Child and Adolescent Health Center program.
The Ira Land Family Health Center is named in honor of Dr. Ira Land, raised in Southfield, who died in 2022. Dr. Land was an emergent leader within the CVS pharmacy company. A graduate of the Sullivan University doctoral program in pharmacy, Dr. Land led one of the company’s diversity teams and oversaw the company’s Covid-19 clinics in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. In recognition of his exceptional commitment and service, Dr. Land was honored with the prestigious CVS Paragon Award in 2022.
Loretta Bush presented a commemorative plaque in honor of Dr. Land to members of his family. Ivan Land, Jr., brother of Dr. Land, offered memorial remarks. He spoke of Dr. Land’s diligence, deep thinking, and dedication as a pharmacist, and his personal approach to his work as a retail pharmacist. “Patients were never names on a prescription, but people,” he said. His practice was not just about treating illness but fostering compassion.”
He said that Dr. Land’s pharmacy practice wasn’t limited to the interior of CVS, his employer, but also to the surrounding community, just as the school-based health center is open to the surround neighborhoods – symbolized by an external door, which will eventually be constructed. “The outside door… Ira was that outside door.”
“Stevenson School is more than a place to learn,” Principal Tonya Hickman said. But as a learning environment, “healthy kids learn better.” Stevenson School is designated as a Community School by United Way of Southeast Michigan. This requires schools to demonstrate a commitment to pillars of quality:
- Integrated Student Support: Coordinated support programs to address out-of-school learning barriers for students and families. Mental and physical health services support student success.
- Family and Community Engagement: Schools function as neighborhood hubs. There are educational opportunities for adults, and family members can share their stories and serve as equal partners in promoting student success. The health center’s Community Advisory Committee is one way of integrating community advice into the school’s administrative practices.
- Expanded Learning Time and Opportunities: After-school, weekend, and summer programs provide academic instruction and individualized support. Enrichment activities emphasize real-world learning and community problem solving. Well-designed, expanded learning time and opportunities are aligned with the schools’ curriculum and learning goals.
- Collaborative Leadership: Parents, students, teachers, principals, and community partners build a culture of professional learning, collective trust, and shared responsibility using strategies such as site-based leadership teams and teacher learning communities.
For more information on the Ira Land Family Health Center, contact Brandi Lagodzinski, practice manager, at 313-824-1000 ext. 3, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
From left: Assistant Principal Thompson; Superintendent Jennifer Martin-Green; Principal Hickman; Mrs. Land (mother Dr. Ira Land); Mr. Land (father of Dr. Land); Loretta Bush, CEO at Authority Health; Ivan Land Jr. (brother); Ian Land (brother); Isaiah Land (brother).