Expanding health services for children and young adults during the pandemic

Description of the collaborative
The Regional Alliance for Healthy Schools (RAHS) is a network of School Based Health Centers embedded in a selection of schools in the Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Lincoln school districts, in addition to five school districts in Flint, MI. Conceived in 1992 as a collaboration between the Ann Arbor Public Schools and the Ann Arbor Youth Task Force, the alliance was developed to provide easily accessible health care for students up to 21 years old regardless of ability to pay.
Traditional RAHS services range from sick visits to immunizations to sports physicals to mental health services, vision screening, glasses, and visits with registered dietitians. Locating the health centers in schools removes barriers related to transportation and follow-up visits. Students seeking medical care could access the services immediately, in a youth-friendly setting where they feel comfortable.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, RAHS offered virtual visits, expanded their mobile health services unit, and offered COVID vaccinations for eligible youth. In the past 12 months, RAHS has provided mental health services for 954 youth and vision services for 100 youth. In addition, RAHS shared numerous COVID-19 facts, testing, and vaccination resources.
Participating organizations

  • Michigan Medicine Community Health Services, Project Lead
  • Ann Arbor Public Schools
  • Ypsilanti Community Schools
  • Lincoln Consolidated Schools
  • Michigan Medicine Kellogg Eye Center
  • Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Impact on community health

  • Provided a wealth of information and resources through communication on their Facebook and Instagram pages and Twitter feed
  • Shared information on local and community pop-up COVID-19 test sites and vaccine clinics
  • Shared important updates from CDC
  • Participated in food drives and meal distribution
  • Continued their work providing physical and mental health care for school-aged children throughout the pandemic without any out-of pocket expense
  • Provided Several COVID Vaccinations for youth aged 12-21, and moved the needle on vaccine hesitancy