Wright Brothers Middle School

DPS rolls out new Mobile Health Unit

January 19, 2017
Contact: Jill Drury
Communication Specialist
(937) 542-3023
For Immediate Release

    Program offers asthma care and management to students and their families

     Dayton Public Schools is partnering with the Community Health Centers of Greater Dayton to provide unprecedented care to students with asthma and related conditions. A clinic on wheels, made possible with funding through The CareSource Foundation, will bring medical professionals to the students, removing barriers families must overcome to obtain health care for their child with asthma. The DPS Mobile Health Unit is an expansion of the Community Health Centers of Greater Dayton, a federally qualified health care center. It was rolled out today for community leaders and media to see close up as it begins its travels to the district’s elementary schools.
     “This partnership provides a unique opportunity for three organizations -- Community Health Centers of Greater Dayton, Dayton Public Schools and The CareSource Foundation -- to leverage their collective strengths and assets, to bring much needed health care services to students,” said Gregory Hopkins, executive director, Community Health Centers of Greater Dayton.
     “The CareSource Foundation has had the incredible opportunity to partner with many impressive organizations throughout its history, and this collaboration is no different. Our goal is to invest in social innovation that improves critical trends in health. Childhood asthma is at the top of that list,” said Cathy Ponitz, vice president, The CareSource Foundation. “The new Mobile Health Unit will offer unique and personalized care to more than 1,900 Dayton Public Schools students. And ultimately, controlling asthma keeps kids in school and ensures greater peace of mind for their families.”
     The district currently enrolls more than 800 elementary students with asthma (about 12 percent). A DPS school nurse and a CHCGD family nurse practitioner are assigned to the unit to supplement the health care children with asthma may already be receiving through a health care provider. The unit will travel to 17 DPS elementary schools on a rotating basis. The Mobile Health Unit staff can provide thorough exams, including diagnosis and treatment options for asthma; make informed referrals; and provide asthma education for the children and their parents or guardians.
     “We are grateful to our partners, who have given us the tools to revolutionize our services to our students. Our goal is to help families better manage their children’s asthma,” said Superintendent Rhonda Corr. “We want to keep our children healthy, so they can attend school regularly and are ready to learn.”   
     The Mobile Health Unit first went into service in 1998 and was shuttered as a result of a reduction in nursing personnel 10 years later. With funding from CHCGD and a $125,000 grant award and other monetary and equipment supports from CareSource, plans to renovate the vehicle grew out of the district’s work with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Training, Education, Assistance, Mentorship and Support (TEAMS) project. With their guidance, and with the collaboration of many community partners, the district developed and launched its Comprehensive Asthma Management Program in each elementary school this fall.
     “Dayton Public Schools has made great strides in providing asthma health education and support to students, families, and school staff. The Mobile Health Unit is a culmination of those innovative efforts to “dream big” while addressing the district’s number one health concern,” said Virginia Noe, director of health services, Dayton Public Schools.
      For more information, contact Virginia Noe, director of health services, at 542-3405.