New school-based health center opens at Warner Elementary

On Tuesday, Sept. 28, Christiana Care and Red Clay School District celebrated the opening of a new school-based health center at Warner Elementary in Wilmington. The new site is the 19th school-based health center run by Christiana Care, and it’s the first one in an elementary school for both Christiana Care and Red Clay.

“Today, we’re moving from a health care system to a system that impacts health,” said Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, president and CEO of Christiana Care. “One of the innovative ways we deliver health is through our innovative partnerships with schools to care for students at our school-based health centers. School-based health centers help teens and young children overcome many obstacles to receiving good health care, and they ultimately enable students to stay healthy and focus on their education.”

Kathy Cannatelli, Christiana Care’s manager of Community Health and Preventive Medicine;
Del. Sen. Dave Sokola; Marie Miller, LCSW, Warner Elementary School-Based Health Center; Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, Christiana Care president and CEO; School Nurse Fran Russo-Avena, RN; Merv Daugherty, superintendent, Red Clay Consolidated School District; and Jodi Harper, supervisor, Warner Elementary School Based Health Center.

Working with each student’s health care provider, parents and school nurse, health centers provide comprehensive medical and mental-health care, treatment and health education. Services offered at the health centers include physical examinations and health screenings, immunizations, drug and alcohol abuse counseling and suicide prevention.

“The Wellness Center at Warner Elementary represents a true partnership between Christiana Care and the Red Clay Consolidated School District that creates health equity and directly contributes to our district’s mission and vision,” said Red Clay Superintendent Merv Daugherty. “This ultimately prepares today’s children for tomorrow in reaching their health and academic potential. Indeed, healthy students learn better.”

At the Warner Elementary school-based health center ribbon cutting, Christiana Care President and CEO Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, talks about the value of partnerships in improving access to care for children in our community.

Mandy Pennington, Red Clay’s lead nurse, said that school-based health centers have the potential to reduce absenteeism, improve test scores and improve graduation rates.

“They provide health, emotional and behavioral care coordination that enhances disease management that allows an equal opportunity for students to learn and grow,” Pennington said.