ERIC Number: ED482163
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
A Golden Opportunity: Improving Children's Health through California's Schools.
Bianco, Diana; Clavez, Elena; Cryan, Mary Ann; Imholz, Betsy; Johns, David; Landes, Rebecca; Petke, Jen
The rising number of uninsured children in California underscores the need to redouble efforts to enroll all eligible children in the Healthy Families Program (California's State Children's Health Insurance Program), or in Medi-Cal (California's Medicaid program). This report describes the research and fieldwork conducted by Consumers Union's Healthy Kids, Healthy Schools project exploring opportunities to connect schools with Healthy Families and Medi-Cal. The report describes existing school-based enrollment efforts, and offers policy recommendations for making outreach and enrollment activities an integral part of the mission of California's public schools. Between January and June of 1999, Healthy Kids, Healthy Schools compiled demographic data on California's schools in areas with the greatest need for school-based outreach for children's health insurance programs. Written surveys were conducted with school nurses and Healthy Start staff and telephone surveys were conducted with school personnel statewide. Both survey responses and fieldwork indicated that partnerships between schools, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies are highly effective in promoting Healthy Families and Medi-Cal. Resulting policy recommendations include: (1) finding additional resources to initiate and support school outreach and enrollment activities; (2) testing school-based outreach and enrollment strategies through pilot projects; (3) developing policy to institutionalize school-based efforts to reduce numbers of uninsured children; (4) developing policy to reflect schools' experiences with health insurance outreach and enrollment initiatives and to facilitate schools' participation in these activities; (5) improving the state's methods for gathering and analyzing data on Healthy Families/Medi-Cal enrollment to identify the most effective forms of outreach; (6) and conducting additional research on the connection between health insurance and school performance. The report concludes by asserting that linking schools and health insurance offers a golden opportunity to expand health care coverage to all of California's children--the first step toward healthier kids and healthier schools. (Contains 42 endnotes.) (KB)
Descriptors: Access to Health Care, Child Health, Children, Enrollment Management, Enrollment Trends, Health Insurance, Health Needs, Outreach Programs, Partnerships in Education, Public Policy, Public Schools, School Health Services, School Role
Consumers Union of U.S., Inc., West Coast Regional Office, 1535 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103. Tel: 415-431-6747; Fax: 415-431-0906; Web site: http://www.consumersunion.org. For full text: http://www.consumersunion.org/health.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Practitioners; Policymakers
Sponsor: David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Los Altos, CA.
Authoring Institution: Consumers Union, San Francisco, CA. West Coast Regional Office.
Identifiers - Location: California
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Childrens Health Insurance Program