Coordinated school health and the contribution of a district wellness coordinator

  • Westrich L
  • Sanchez M
  • Strobel K
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Abstract

BACKGROUND: A San Francisco Bay Area school health initiative was established in fall 2010 to improve wellness programs in 4 local school districts using the Coordinated School Health (CSH) model. This study examines the role of district-wide wellness coordinators and the ways in which they contribute to intentional coordination of health and wellness programs and activities in their school districts.

METHODS: This study included 8 schools across 4 school districts. Researchers conducted semistructured interviews and focus groups with district and school staff, students, parents, wellness committee members, and wellness coordinators in 2012 to examine a range of perspectives about the coordination of school health and wellness.

RESULTS: District wellness coordinators' efforts were linked to an increase in (1) awareness of health and wellness, (2) integration of wellness activities within and across schools and districts, and (3) leveraged resources.

CONCLUSIONS: Wellness coordinators are critical to successful CSH efforts. Through intentional and strategic collaboration with key stakeholders, wellness coordinators advance CSH goals of integrating health and wellness programs within and across school districts, reaching more students equitably and leveraging resources.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Coordinated school health
  • Implementation
  • School health
  • Wellness coordinator

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Authors

  • Lisa Westrich

  • Monika Sanchez

  • Karen Strobel

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