Reading, Writing, Math… and Health

By Dennis Archambault

Healthy students learn better. Conversely, unhealthy students struggle to learn. Keeping kids healthy results in improved academic performance, through improved mental acuity, increased immunization rates, and reduced absenteeism. The State of Michigan, which has promoted development of school-based health centers, has designed February “School-Based Health Care Awareness Month.”

In a proclamation designating this special observance, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer noted that there are over 300 school-based and school-linked health centers and programs in the state offering primary, preventive, early intervention, and mental health service for children in all grade levels in urban, rural, and suburban schools. School-Based Health Care Awareness Month offers “a time to acknowledge the commitment and passion that school-based health center staff and parents/guardians show for all Michigan children and youth. We also recognize the critical role they play in improving the health and well-being of all Michigan children.”

Authority Health supports this endeavor by sponsoring school-based health centers at Hope Academy in Detroit and Adlai Stevenson Elementary School in Southfield. We not only provide a full array of primary care services for students in the schools, but also for young people living in the neighborhoods surrounding the school. School-Based health centers are catalysts for creating healthy communities for children to grow and learn.

Dennis Archambault is vice president of Public Affairs for Authority Health.

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