To address health issues at the earliest and most preventable stages, provide whole child health, and advance health equity in the community, ChristianaCare opened today a new school-based health center at Kuumba Academy Charter School in Wilmington, Delaware.
The creation of the center, made possible through ChristianaCare’s partnership with the Community Education Building (CEB), which houses Kuumba Academy, means that students will have increased access to an array of health services. Kuumba Academy serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
“At ChristianaCare, we recognize the comprehensive health needs of adolescents in our community and are committed to partnering and using our resources wisely and effectively to expand our school-based health centers,” said Bettina Tweardy Riveros, JD, chief health equity officer and senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Community Engagement at ChristianaCare.
“We know that childhood trauma adversely affects the ability of children to learn and build healthy relationships and it increases their risk of mental health issues and lifelong chronic disease. The opening of our school-based health center at Kuumba Academy means that ChristianaCare can support medical and behavioral health services and wraparound social care our children need, so we can positively influence their health, their education and their futures.”
With the latest opening, ChristianaCare now operates 21 school-based health centers throughout the First State, in partnership with the Delaware Department of Health & Social Services, the Delaware Division of Public Health and several school districts.
Kuumba Academy students, who spoke at the grand opening, will have access through its school-based health center to the following:
- Comprehensive behavioral health services.
- Crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
- Substance use disorder treatment.
- Tobacco cessation.
- Nutrition and weight management.
- Physical examinations.
- health screenings.
- Treatment for minor illnesses and injuries.
- reproductive health
In addition, Kuumba Academy students will also have access to resources that help their families overcome obstacles such as transportation, challenging appointment times and worries about cost and confidentiality.
“Kuumba Academy remains committed to meeting the needs of the whole child and family,” said Sally Maldonado, head of school at Kuumba Academy, the mission of which is to provide an innovative learning environment for the whole child.
“The opening of this school-based health center means that our students and families will have daily access to the high-quality behavior and health services that they deserve, and we are grateful to ChristianaCare and CEB for their partnership. We are beginning to see ourselves on the other side of this pandemic and we are energized to emerge with these newfound partnerships focused on health and wellness for our village.”
ChristianaCare has partnered with CEB and Kuumba Academy on community-focused health initiatives in the past. In February 2021, ChristianaCare provided more than 800 vaccinations to community members and staff at CEB. At a special event at CEB in early 2022, ChristianaCare vaccinated 38 people, including 19 children, against COVID-19. This added to the more than 6,000 vaccinations that ChristianaCare Community Health has administered since 2021.
“At CEB, we understand the importance that health plays on a child’s ability to learn and succeed,” said Linda Jennings, CEO at CEB.
“We are beyond excited to partner with Kuumba and ChristianaCare to launch the Kuumba Academy School-Based Health Center at CEB and add to the list of holistic and integrated support we provide to students and their families.”
Today’s event coincides with Better World Day, an annual, national event on the first Friday in May. During Better World Day, students showcase their learning about initiatives that they believe will have a positive impact on their community and the world. Through collaboration and acts of service, students learn the power of their voice to make change.