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The Los Angeles Trust for Children’s Health has released a new Data xChange report demonstrating the widespread impact of Los Angeles Unified School District’s 16 full-service wellness centers on students, families and community members in the district’s highest-need areas.
According to the Data xChange report, 11 school-based wellness centers reported more than 229,000 visits from 86,000 patients in the past five years. Visits grew 143% in the past half decade and patients averaged 2.7 visits per year, demonstrating “a strong bond between clinics and patients.”
The statistics in the wellness center five-year impact report were produced by the L.A. Trust’s Data xChange, which is designed to measure the impact of wellness center investments, improve the allocation of health resources and connect the dots between student health and academic achievement.
The L.A. Trust supports these clinics by offering best practices, prevention education programs, learning collaboratives and other vital infrastructure. In addition, it has independently raised more than $1.5 million to create the Data xChange, which the L.A. Trust views as key to the sustainability of school-based health in Los Angeles and throughout the nation.
Common student services include well child exams, contraceptive management, weight and obesity management, immunization and vaccines, sexually transmitted infection testing and management, and mental health and substance-use services.
“Because students are only as healthy as the communities they live in, wellness centers treat family and community members, too,” an LAUSD spokesperson said. “Community members are more likely to be treated for chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.”
There are currently 16 Los Angeles Unified wellness center clinics with two more on the way. They bring high-quality medical services into traditionally underserved communities, provide culturally competent care and reduce transportation burdens by placing clinics on school campuses. Most of the clinics have a street-facing door to admit community members and a school-facing door to admit students.
According to the report, the coronavirus pandemic has hit Los Angeles hard, especially predominantly Black and Latinx communities. Six wellness centers have remained open during the height of the school lockdown and received more than 12,000 visits between March and June of this year.
“As many of our wellness centers pivot toward telehealth and incorporate more specific coding practices related to COVID-19, the L.A. Trust Data xChange will stay in step with them by working to create new reports and insights,” the report stated.
For information, visit thelatrust.org.
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