Get Back to School With Community Health Centers

With kids heading back to school this month CCHN would like to highlight the great work of Community Health Centers (CHCs) in serving their youngest patients.

This July Valley-Wide Health Systems, Inc. (Valley-Wide) engaged a large group of providers, support staff, and administration in the San Luis Valley in a Cavity Free at Three training. Cavity Free at Three (CF3) is a Colorado-based program that delivers training to providers and staff to provide preventive oral health services for young children and pregnant women, to decrease early dental disease and reduce disparities in oral health among folks who may be at higher risk. Valley-Wide practice manager Grace Sandoval, who also participates in Valley-Wide’s team-based care grant, suggested that they outreach to their local Migrant Head Start program and Valley-Wide staff to offer the local children an opportunity to receive free fluoride varnish. CF3 trainings traditionally include an opportunity to practice applying fluoride varnish, using puppets as dummy patients. Through engaging the Migrant Head Start and Valley-Wide staff, participants were able to deliver this application to children instead of puppets. Parents who accompanied their children received one-on-one education about the benefits of early dental care, using educational materials provided by CF3. The training was a great success with approximately 25 Migrant Head Start children and 10 children of Valley-Wide staff who arrived to receive the fluoride varnish. Following the training, all staff who participated will receive a certification that allows them to provide fluoride varnish and education within the clinic setting. Way to go, Valley-Wide, for their dedication to integrated primary care and outreach to the community!

Each August the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless puts on a Back to School Healthy Kids Fair. Health screenings, immunizations, and school supplies are available during the event. There are also balloon animals, princesses, and face painting for the kids. The fair provides an opportunity for families to access health services in one location. Over 200 children experiencing homelessness attended this year.

Denver Health’s Community Health Services, High Plains Community Health Center, Metro Community Provider Network, Mountain Family Health Center, Peak Vista Community Health Centers, Pueblo Community Health Center Inc., Salud Family Health Centers, Sheridan Health Services, Summit Community Care Clinic, Inc., and Sunrise Community Health all have school based clinics. These 36 practices provide various health services to students directly on their school campuses and increase access to care for kids around the state.

Job Opportunities
Are you interested in a mission driven career that helps make a difference in patients’ lives? Check out the Mission Driven Careers Job Board or the CHAMPS Job Opportunity Bank for more information about rewarding careers with a Colorado CHC. To learn more about Colorado’s CHCs and other great work they are doing, visit CCHN’s website.