Healthy Kids Centers
Pat Dimon, nurse project manager, Fayette County Health Department, 650 Newtown Pike, Lexington, KY 40508, (859) 381-3172
An innovative program in Fayette County offers access to free health care right where children spend most of their time—in their schools.
The four Healthy Kids Centers in Fayette County schools provide free access to medical services like checkups and immunizations as well as dental care and mental health services. The centers also provide acute care for chronic conditions like asthma and diabetes.
More than 1,000 children at four high-poverty schools in Fayette County benefit from the Healthy Kids Centers, run by the Fayette County Health Department. The department draws on the help of partners in the health care community from University of Kentucky Pediatrics and the UK colleges of nursing and dentistry. Mental health services are provided on-site by Bluegrass Comprehensive Care.
The Healthy Kids Centers take a team approach to solving health problems. A Student Assistance Team in each school evaluates students with learning, behavioral, or attention problems. Regular meetings with parents, teachers, and Healthy Kids Centers representatives make certain that everyone recognizes the links between health and classroom issues.
Among the benefits documented by the Healthy Kids Centers are increased school attendance and a decrease in emergency room visits.