BY GENA HUFF, Editor
The CVS SMART model for schools is a public/private partnership developed between CVS Health, Ginn Group Consulting (architects of the model), school districts, and a partnership with local medical providers. The model was launched nationally in 2013. Its purpose is to provide preventive care to students — with parental consent — to enrich academic performance, achievement, and attendance.
Melanie Ginn, CEO of Ginn Group Consulting, spoke with the Pickens County Board of Education at the June 25 meeting to discuss implementing the plan in both the Reform and Gordo city school systems. The Aliceville city school system has had a comparable model in place for about two years. For the Reform and Gordo schools, the partner medical provider will be Dr. Julia Boothe of Reform.
In a process called “cracking the code,” the SMART model aims to break the cycle of poverty because poor health is a cause of academic failure and a result of academic failure. “Academics are our purpose. We are not a doctor’s office in a school,” said Ginn. “That’s the opposite of what we are.”
Most healthcare is reactive – knowing there is a problem and seeking help. In a philosophy called Active Access, it “says you are in my population, you are in my building, your wellness is of paramount importance to me, I want to be there to either prevent illness or help you deal with any issue that may come up,” explained Ginn.
“The whole building is like your patient. All the students are your patients; the teachers, the principal,” said Ginn. “Every minute we are not getting to those kids and not figuring out what’s going on with them, is another minute they could be falling further and further behind.”
Parents and students are not required to participate, they are invited and must give consent. “It is about how they are doing in school,” said Ginn. “It is outcome oriented. I never call it a program. It’s a model, designed for outcomes, designed to be sustainable.”
See complete story in the Pickens County Herald.