Hundreds Commit to Advancing Equity for Kids
Nearly 450 educators, school health care providers, and children’s health advocates joined us for Advancing Equity in Education & Health Care in San Diego April 30 and May 1, to move forward a collective mission to give all children an opportunity to succeed.
Advocates from across the state started the conference on Thursday by boarding a big yellow San Diego Unified School District bus to visit the school-based health center at Monroe Clark Middle School. The school-based health center is one of 14 in San Diego County that opens up access to high-quality health care for children at school who would otherwise go without. The clinic at Monroe Clark also serves families and the community as part of a unique partnership between San Diego Unified School District, La Maestra Community Health Centers, and San Diego Family Care.
Afterwards, attendees from the tour and our pre-conference workshops enjoyed the sunset and a complimentary cocktail on the beach during our welcome reception, which was graciously underwritten by the California Association of Health Plans.
Friday started off with an energizing keynote address from the Assemblymember Shirley Weber, who has long been a steadfast supporter of children’s equity in education and health care. She reminded us that we are “standing in the gap” that prevents children from getting critical health care that will help them succeed at school. Following her address, California School-Based Health Alliance Board President Michael Miller presented Assemblymember Weber with the 2015 School Health Champion Award for her policy advocacy on behalf of California’s children.
The day featured 18 workshops to help educators and providers improve the well-being of children at school.
During our luncheon, we celebrated two other 2015 School Health Champions: practitioner Merry Grasska from Orange County and teacher Bruce McIver from Los Angeles County.
During breaks between workshops and activities, attendees visited with the more than a dozen exhibitors representing advocacy groups and leading companies that serve health care providers.
We ended the day with valuable insight from Godwin Higa, the principal of San Diego Unified’s Cherokee Point Elementary School, which is nationally recognized as a trauma-informed school.