Kaiser to give $3 million to improve student health

Filed under: Daily News,Health Care | Tags:, ,

school-healthKaiser Permanente will give $3 million to the Colorado Legacy Foundation to improve school students’ health.

The groups involved in the venture also include the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Coalition for Healthy Schools. The new school healthy policy and practice data collection program will create the needed infrastructure to measure, track and understand student health throughout the state.

The groups hope to find out the key factors that create the healthiest environment for students to learn and thrive. The program will collect, organize and synthesize critical information to create a consistent, statewide system. Information will help local school districts make decisions regarding the health and well-being of students.

“Kaiser Permanente has a long-standing reputation for making smart investments in Colorado communities,” said Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia. “The school health policy and practice data collection program will help dramatically improve and transform how Colorado schools access, analyst and use data to support students and staff in adopting and maintaining healthy behaviors.”

The state’s childhood obesity rate is growing at the second-highest rate of increase in the nation. Nearly one out of every four children ages 2 to 14 are overweight or obese. Close to 10 percent of Colorado children have asthma. Forty percent of these kids reported missing at least one day of school because of the disease.

Currently, school districts must complete health surveys from a variety of external parties, taking away valuable class time and compiled ata that is not often shared back to the reporting entities. The program seeks to decrease that burden by feeding health information to the local level.

“Good data is the foundation of good decision making,” said Robert Hammon, Colorado Commissioner of Education. “This streamlined system outlining common school health and wellness indicators will help analyze trends as well as provide opportunities to correlate the connection between health and wellness and academic achievement.”