School Health Program
Montefiore’s School Health Program (MSHP) provides comprehensive primary, preventative and continuing health care to a population of elementary, middle and high school students throughout the Bronx.
Founded in 1983, MSHP is the largest and most comprehensive school-based health program in the country and a major community outreach program for children living in the Bronx. Currently, MSHP provides a range of medical, mental health, reproductive and health promotion services to 27,000 students, who access these services more than 70,000 times per year.
MSHP has its own, well-developed mechanism to assure local input and community relevance for the programs reaching 65 schools at 21 locations: active school-based Advisory Committees and Wellness Councils whose members include principals, teachers, administrators, parents, students and representatives from community agencies.
Included in MSHP’s wide range of comprehensive primary care services are health maintenance examinations, immunizations, screening tests, first aid for injuries and emergencies, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic medical problems, as well as secondary and tertiary care referrals. The program has a particular interest in improved asthma care and adolescent health services.
The high school centers offer comprehensive adolescent healthcare, including reproductive healthcare services such as pregnancy testing and prenatal care; options counseling; family planning; screening, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV counseling and testing; and routine Pap tests for sexually active girls.
MSHP’s preventive care measures include mental health services such as screening and risk assessment and referral services. Mental health services focusing on depression, anxiety, bereavement, crisis intervention and family issues are available at each site. Dental services are also available at some sites. Physical education and nutrition initiatives combat childhood obesity.
We are dedicated to establishing healthy habits among children enrolled in schools served by MSHP. Some key initiatives adopted by MSHP include:
Fighting Childhood Obesity
In 2004, Montefiore Medical Center was awarded a grant from the J.E. & Z.B. Butler Foundation to develop a Healthy Kidsinitiative. Healthy Kids is a partnership between MSHP and five Bronx elementary schools to operate a multifaceted program of physical activity, nutritional education and hands-on experience.
The focus of the program is on reducing childhood obesity by establishing an effective, sustainable and reproducible school and community based program that promotes exercise and healthy eating.
Over the next three years, the Healthy Kids program will be expanded to 11 other schools served by Montefiore’s school-based health service.
Increasing Physical Education
As part of the policy initiatives to promote physical education in Bronx elementary schools affiliated with our School Health Program, we have developed a low-cost, teacher-friendly “CHAM JAM” CD to get students active in the classroom. The “CHAM JAM” CD is a short-burst, 10-minute, education-focused aerobic activity led by teachers in their classrooms.
The “CHAM JAM” CD provides integrated lessons that promote physical activity while reinforcing academic learning objectives. The program is mixed in a recording studio by a professional recording talent who sets the lessons to contemporary music beats that get students on their feet.