Senior LAUSD Physician Dr. Rosina Franco provided an update on the District’s coronavirus response at The L.A. Trust Wellness Network Learning Collaborative.
Representatives from Los Angeles Unified and its Wellness Centers discussed how to reach and treat students during the COVID-19 pandemic at The L.A. Trust’s online Learning Collaborative October 14.
Maryjane Puffer, executive director of The Los Angeles Trust for Children’s Health, welcomed the participants. Noting that inclusion was the theme of the gathering, she quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Gloria Velasquez, an organization facilitator for L.A. Unified’s Student Health and Human Services, presented a Wellness Network Report Card for academic year 2019-2020. She reminded the attendees that the purpose of the Wellness Network was to help students and families “where there is a gap in healthcare” and thanked The L.A. Trust Data xChange “for gathering and presenting these metrics so they could be shared in so many different ways.”
Velasquez noted that student patients comprised more than 28% of all patients seen by the Wellness Clinics and they averaged 2.1 visits per year. More female than male students visited the clinics (55.6% vs. 44.4%) and the overwhelming number of student patients were teens 14-19. The top services provided to students were well child exams, overweight and obesity concerns, contraceptive management and vaccinations and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
Senior LAUSD Physician Dr. Rosina Franco provided an update on the District’s coronavirus response and prospects for school reopening. She noted that Los Angeles County was still in Tier 1, reflecting widespread case and positivity rates, and outlined the state’s requirements for re-opening. As of October 13, Los Angeles County had 9.0 new COVID cases per 100,000 population — the county’s positivity rate was 3.7% and rising.
Franco said L.A. Unified was laying the groundwork for a safe return to in-person instruction. LAUSD is currently testing teachers, staff and children in childcare to establish an initial COVID-19 baseline. The second phase of initial baseline testing will include all staff working from home. The third phase will include all students.
The District will do another return to school baseline test and periodic testing thereafter. Contacts of students and staff who test positive will be notified by the District as part of its robust Community Engagement effort.
Two representatives from the Carson Wellness Center presented ideas on how to engage students and community members and drive visits to Wellness Centers.
Kristie Garrison of Healthy Start and Suzanne Markey of LAUSD School Mental Health offered marketing and communications tactics, including virtual clinic tours media to be shared on classroom Zoom meetings and social media. The team is focused on promoting clinic services to students, especially sexually transmitted infection and HIV prevention education.
Rosario Rico and Robert Renteria of The L.A. Trust gave a brief presentation on inclusive strategies to increase student use of LAUSD Wellness Centers.
They emphasized “location, location, location,” which includes virtual environments like Schoology, Zoom and social media, and more traditional methods like putting printed fliers in places where students are still checking in. They said messaging should include Wellness Center hours, available services, minor consent services and how to make an appointment.
The two-hour event concluded with breakout rooms discussing “How to expand outreach efforts in a more inclusive manner?” Suggestions included involving parents and past student clients as ambassadors; engaging teachers; and utilizing ConnectEd, Schoology and other platforms.
Conference attendees committed to exploring the techniques and increasing clinic visits next semester.