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Director of Montefiore's School Health Program Honored

New York magazine has named David Appel, MD, director of Montefiore Medical Center's School Health Program, one of New York's "influentials."

Dr. Appel is one of an eclectic breed the magazine calls "influentials," a term borrowed from marketing.  They are "idea merchants, social entrepreneurs and conceptual artists, gatekeepers, opinion shapers, star makers and paradigm shifters" who are "changing the city, pushing it in new directions, shaping its economy and culture as profoundly as the old high-and-mighty ever did."

Dr. Appel won the distinction, the magazine says, because he is responsible for overseeing Montefiore's School Health Program, which gives 15,000 children in the Bronx the healthcare they need through clinics at thirteen of the borough's elementary, middle and high schools.  The effort is the largest of its kind in the country and serves as a model for similar public-health initiatives nationwide.

"I share this honor with an exceptional team of colleagues who go where the kids are to provide care," Dr. Appel said.

Given its mission, the program so far is funded with about $5.5 million a year from Montefiore, government grants and private donations.  With that money, the program provides everything from vaccines to Pap tests to therapy sessions, the magazine noted.

"School-based healthcare reaches children with a wide range of health services they otherwise would not have access to, including primary care, dental treatments and even psychological support," said Spencer Foreman, MD, president of Montefiore.  "More people need to understand how programs like this make a critical difference in the lives and development of children every day."

Looking ahead, Dr. Appel said he is hoping to "offer more depth to the School Health Program's services and to expand to many more schools so that we can reach every needy child in the Bronx."