Schools as a Conduit for Public Health

Professors Raphael Bostic, Michael Nichol and Michael Cousineau

This proposal is for an evaluation of the school-based health centers associated with participating elementary schools in City Heights. We envision a two phase research program. The first phase has two elements: (i) a series of site visits to better understand how school-based health centers are structured, operating, and advancing key objectives, and (ii) an exploratory set of interviews and surveys of relevant parties allowing researchers to assess the extent to which privacy issues can be overcome. The site visits will produce qualitative information that will allow for an assessment of the general infrastructure supporting school-based health centers, which has been found to be an important determinant of success. The information obtained via the exploratory interviews will allow researchers to determine the likelihood that detailed information on student and family health and student educational performance will be made available to the research team.

The second phase will feature an empirical analysis of the school-based centers and their effectiveness. The specific approach that will be implemented will be informed by the results of the exploratory component of the first phase of the research. If the exploratory analysis of the first stage indicates that detailed information can be obtained and used, the empirical analysis will feature the use of administrative data from the school-based clinics, school and other sources. If it is determined that such information is not likely to be forthcoming, the empirical analysis will involve a survey of students.