The Winter Park Health Foundation has become known in Central Florida as a neutral convener around key issues impacting the health of communities, and as a catalyst for action. We often take the lead on the development and implementation of special initiatives leading to collective impact and policy change. These long-term initiatives provide unique opportunities to engage and empower residents, and they typically consist of several interconnected programs to support healthy behaviors, address barriers to health, create healthy habitats, and make health a priority.
Coordinated Youth Initiative/Healthy Kids Today:
In the belief that Healthy Kids Make Better Students and Better Students Make Healthy Communities, the Winter Park Health Foundation sponsors a variety of programs aimed at tending to the mental and physical well-being of the children in our community. CYI is the Foundation’s oldest and perhaps best-known initiative, and it represents an investment of almost $17 million since 1997.
This initiative is based on the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child, or WSCC model – the CDC’s framework for addressing health in schools. The WSCC model is student-centered and emphasizes the role of the community in supporting the school, the connections between health and academic achievement and the importance of evidence-based school policies and practices.
The CYI is a partnership between the Winter Park Health Foundation and Orange County Public Schools. The following CYI programs are funded by the Foundation in the 13 public schools serving children and youth living in Eatonville, Maitland and Winter Park (Elementary Schools – Aloma, Baldwin Park, Brookshire, Cheney, Dommerich, Hungerford, Lakemont, Lake Sybelia; K-8 School – Audubon Park; Middle Schools – Glenridge and Middle; and High School – Winter Park 9th Grade Center and Winter Park High):
CHILL Counseling Program – A school-based counseling program for students who need help with issues such as divorce, grief and loss, low self-esteem, anger management and depression. CHILL Counselors focus on prevention and early intervention programs. There is no cost to students or families.
School Nursing Services – Licensed nurses at school provide a variety of services and can handle emergencies and treat illnesses so children can return to class as quickly as possible, ready to learn and make the most of the school day. Financial support from WPHF helps schools upgrade from a basic school health aide to hire a Licensed Practical Nurses or Registered Nurse.
School Based Health Centers – When the need exists, school nurses can refer students to two health centers staffed by Nurse Practitioners (located on the Glenridge Middle and Winter Park High campuses). NPs have master’s degrees and can offer more advanced care for students from the 13 schools. The NPs provide important services to students whose families don’t have adequate health care coverage or access to a health care provider for their children. NPs can assess, diagnose and prescribe medications and therapies for patients.
Healthy School Teams – A concept developed by the Foundation and piloted in the 13 schools, Healthy School Teams (HST), are comprised of stakeholders from within the schools and community who plan and present activities that promote health and wellbeing among students and staff. The WPHF funds HST programs and efforts at each school. Based on the success of HSTs to ensure the implementation of school district wellness policies, OCPS now requires all its schools to have an HST. HSTs have become commonplace throughout Florida.