Chronic health conditions, such as asthma and food allergies, affect a substantial proportion of school-aged children in New Mexico (NM). School health services, policies, programs, and practices can affect daily management of chronic pediatric health conditions. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s School Health Index (SHI) is a self-assessment and planning guide that evaluates school services, policies, and programs for promoting health and safety. Our aim was to determine if a technical assistance (TA) model could effectively support school districts in using the SHI to complete a chronic disease needs assessment (CDNA).
Seven public and one charter school participated in the pilot. We used a TA model to guide service and systems change. We evaluated the context in which the school teams were functioning, built a partnership with key contacts, and worked through the three phases of the model.
SHI questions were limited to only those related to chronic disease management. To complete the planning for improvement section, we held a group training in which school teams participated in an action-planning exercise to choose next steps. Seven of eight schools completed the questions during the four-week pilot period. School teams said that they needed more time to accurately complete the assessments and had difficulty choosing next steps during the action planning activity because of lack of stakeholder presence.
The SHI is a complex and lengthy assessment for schools to undertake. We effectively used a TA model to provide structured assistance for implementing a multi-district CDNA. Sufficient time and stakeholder involvement are required for accurate assessments and action planning.
McCauley, Grace L.; Sarah Sanders; Anne Marlow-Geter; and Elizabeth Yakes Jimenez. "A Technical Assistance Model to Facilitate Use of the School Health Index to Assess Chronic Health Condition Management in Schools." (2020). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/hsc_2020_pediatric_research/14