Nationwide Children’s Hospital awarded $2.5 million for teen health programs in Columbus City schools

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Nationwide Children’s Hospital was awarded $2.5 million to expand teen health programs in Columbus City Schools.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital will lead the initiative to create measurable change in adolescent health equity, according to a press release.

“Franklin County adolescents face a number of reproductive health challenges. There are elevated teen birth rates in high-need communities, a growing racial disparity among teen birth rates, a county-wide epidemic of sexually transmitted infections among teens, and students’ lack of exposure to evidence-based health education curriculum,” said Tim Robinson, CEO of Nationwide Children’s. “Nationwide Children’s Hospital is committed to eliminating inequities in child health and shares a commitment with many community organizations to improve health for all children. This grant will help us achieve that goal.”

Initiative leaders believe the project will span over three years and will affect potentially 7,000 seventh and eighth grade students in Franklin County.

“We recognize this as an equity of resources issue,” said CCS Superintendent/CEO Dr. Talisa Dixon. “This grant and our strong partnerships will allow Columbus City Schools to further close the health disparities in our community by improving and expanding services to more students throughout the District who might otherwise not receive it.”

The grant will expand Nationwide Children’s work with CCS including:

  • Implementation of Get Real, an evidence-based, comprehensive reproductive health and teen pregnancy prevention curriculum that emphasizes social and emotional skills as a key component of healthy relationships and responsible decision making, in 12 Columbus City middle schools
  • Creation of a peer ambassador program for students
  • Implementation of parent programs and summer programs
  • Expansion of mobile health services to the districts’ middle schools
  • Addition of a school-based health clinic, bringing the total to 12 clinics in the district

Nationwide Children’s Hospital says The Ohio State University will assist in the research and the development of the program.

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