A hub for health care

Schools can provide access to health care for children who might not otherwise see a doctor, former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, M.D., said during a visit to New Haven in early July. Speaking to teachers, principals, program directors and policymakers at the 12th annual conference of the School of the 21st Century (21C) initiative, Elders urged schools to establish clinics focusing on prevention. “You can’t educate people who are not healthy, and you certainly can’t keep people healthy if they’re not educated,” said Elders. Established in 1988, the 21C initiative was founded by Edward F. Zigler, Ph.D., one of the principal architects of the federal Head Start Program, Sterling Professor of Psychology and a faculty member in the Child Study Center. More than 1,300 schools in 20 states have adopted the program, which transforms schools into multiservice centers providing a variety of resources for children, parents, teachers and child-care providers.