AdventHealth initiative is improving physical, mental health care across schools.
Published on: 01-26-2023
In 2021, AdventHealth and Flagler Schools announced a five-year partnership that represents a US$750,000 commitment from the health system to provide a mental health fund for students, provide athletic trainers for each county high school, and establish more career pathways for graduates.
“The agreement we have with AdventHealth has been transformative,” Flagler School superintendent Cathy Mittelstadt said. “It has enabled us to have access to much-needed services targeting the physical and mental health of our students, their families, and the community.”
In the past 18 months, families in Flagler County, located in central Florida, United States, have benefited from the new services, including more than 460 student referrals for mental health services and more than 50 Flagler Schools staff trained to identify students in need of services. It also included a US$20,000 contribution to Youth Mental Health First Aid training for school-based faculty and staff.
Leaders behind the initiative also reported that two athletic trainers were hired for each high school in Flagler County, and five students were hired as patient care technicians.
Denyse Bales-Chubb, president and CEO of AdventHealth Palm Coast and market CEO for AdventHealth’s Flagler and St. Johns market, said the partnership has been crucial in providing new access to services for families in Flagler County.
“Our commitment, through our mental health fund, is to provide students with the resources and make those much-needed services accessible to them and their families,” Bales-Chubb said. “At AdventHealth, we are committed to supporting the entire community. We take care of the whole person — not just the body but also the mind and spirit.”
As part of the partnership, AdventHealth hired athletic trainers for Flagler-Palm Coast High School and Matanzas High School. The health system also helped establish enhanced services for school athletic programs including concussion protocols and testing. To date, 378 sports physical exams for students have been given and 302 ECGs, including two of them detected as high risk for sudden cardiac arrest. More than 3,800 treatments were performed on student athletes, an estimate of US$59,691 in services rendered free of charge to the students.
In addition to tests, employees and volunteers have been trained in the use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED). New dates for the screenings in 2023 will be announced at a later date.
In addition, AdventHealth and Flagler Schools have established career opportunities for graduates such as coaching programs, job fairs, and more.