Health and Wellness Mobile Health Care Center
By Dr. Rebecca Malmo, Executive Director of Student and Family Support Services
THANKS TO GRANT funds, MUSD is expanding behavior and physical health services available to students. This grant is benefitting MUSD, in many ways, however the greatest is with a brand-new Mobile Health Care Center.
The California State Budget Act requires the California Department of Education to prioritize grant awards that expand access to physical and mental health care. This was the provision under which Madera Unified School District applied for and received these grant funds. The focus of our grant application was the promotion of “Safe and Healthy Kids!” The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the ways in which these funds have been used to benefit all the students of Madera Unified School District.
One of the many ways in which Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSEA) grant funds are used, is to include the use of an outside vendor to execute a “community mapping” project of all the behavior health services available in the community to Madera Unified students. This project was executed to determine all the behavior health services that are currently available to our students and the measure of accessibility associated with those services. Other funds were used to expand the ability of Parent Resource Centers’ staff to provide meaningful training to parents of children who are willful or defiant, through the Parent Project. Still other SSAE grant funds have been used to purchase curriculum and instructional materials to best serve the needs of all our students, including efforts targeting bullying and promoting Suicide Prevention Awareness.
Thanks to the Tzu Chi Vision Mobile van program, funds are also being used to provide vision screening and glasses. TDAP vaccinations (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis), and audiometers to test our students’ hearing, were also included into the grant. Still other funds were used to expand the implementation of Positive Behavior Intervention Systems (PBIS) to improve student behavior and thus, school climate and culture. The last category of funds was used to purchase a Mobile Health Care Center, intended to serve the behavioral and physical health needs of all Madera Unified School District students, and thus have a long-standing, positive impact on the students and families of Madera.
The Mobile Health Care Center is a large vehicle that was designed to provide space for both individual and group behavior health therapy sessions, as well as physical health needs such as vaccination clinics, vision and auditory screening, and athletic physicals, to name a few of the intended purposes for the vehicle.
The Mobile Health Care Center will be available at all Madera Unified School District sites; however, priority will go to older school sites that don’t have adequate space for mental and physical health support needs. The Mobile Health Care Center will be safely stored in our Transportation lot when not in use, so our Mobile Health Care Center will be well cared for, as part of the Madera Unified School District fleet.
The Mobile Health Care Unit arrived in Madera on September 28, 2019. We held a press conference and an “open house” to provide our Trustees, community members and families an opportunity to see the new vehicle and better understand how it can positively impact the health and wellness of all Madera Unified students.
Our Health and Wellness Department is responsible for scheduling the location of the Mobile Health Care Center throughout each week. We will have digital access to the Mobile Health Care Unit’s location and schedule. Watch the We Believe Newspaper for details on how to “follow” the Mobile Health Care Center around town!
Because the Mobile Health Care Center was designed, built and “badged” specifically for Madera Unified, the total cost of the vehicle was $336,752. It is expected that with the appropriate upkeep and maintenance, that the vehicle will serve the students of Madera Unified for approximately 20 years.
These grant funds are provided by the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) Grant process, authorized under the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), and amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to support student health and wellness.