ChristianaCare Opens School-Based Health Center at Kuumba Academy Charter School in partnership with Community Education BuildingMay 6, 20225 min read
School to provide increased access to preventative health services for young students so they can learn, grow and thrive
To address health issues at the earliest and most preventable stages, provide whole child health, and advance health equity in the community, ChristianaCare opened a new school-based health center at Kuumba Academy Charter School in Wilmington on Friday, May 6th.
The creation of the center, made possible through ChristianaCare’s partnership with the Community Education Building (CEB), which houses Kuumba Academy, means that students at the kindergarten-through-8th grade school will have increased access to an array of health services.
“At ChristianaCare, we recognize the comprehensive health needs of adolescents in our community and are committed to partnering and using our resources wisely and effectively to expand our school-based health centers,” said Bettina Tweardy Riveros, J.D., chief health equity officer and senior vice president of Government Affairs and Community Engagement at ChristianaCare. “We know that childhood trauma adversely affects the ability of children to learn and build healthy relationships and it increases their risk of mental health issues and lifelong chronic disease. The opening of our school-based health center at Kuumba Academy means that ChristianaCare can support medical and behavioral health services and wraparound social care our children need, so we can positively influence their health, their education and their futures.”
With the latest opening, ChristianaCare now operates 21 school-based health centers throughout the First State, in partnership with the Delaware Department of Health & Social Services, the Delaware Division of Public Health and several school districts.
Kuumba Academy students, who spoke at an event Friday to celebrate the grand opening, will have access through its school-based health center to the following:
- Comprehensive behavioral health services.
- Crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
- Substance use disorder treatment.
- Tobacco cessation.
- Nutrition and weight management.
- Physical examinations.
- Health screenings.
- Treatment for minor illnesses and injuries.
- Reproductive health.
In addition, Kuumba Academy students also will have access to resources that help their families surmount obstacles such as transportation, challenging appointment times, and worries about cost and confidentiality.
“Kuumba Academy remains committed to meeting the needs of the whole child and family,” said Sally Maldonado, head of school at Kuumba Academy, the mission of which is to provide an innovative learning environment for the whole child from kindergarten through eighth grade. “The opening of this school-based health center means that our students and families will have daily access to the high-quality behavior and health services that they deserve, and we are grateful to ChristianaCare and CEB for their partnership. We are beginning to see ourselves on the other side of this pandemic and we are energized to emerge with these newfound partnerships focused on health and wellness for our village.”
ChristianaCare has partnered with CEB and Kuumba Academy on community-focused health initiatives in the past. In February 2021, ChristianaCare provided more than 800 vaccinations to community members and staff at CEB. On February 7th of this year, ChristianaCare vaccinated 38 people, including 19 children, against COVID-19. This added to the more than 6,000 vaccinations that ChristianaCare Community Health has administered since 2021.
“At CEB, we understand the importance that health plays on a child’s ability to learn and succeed,” said Linda Jennings, CEO at CEB. “We are beyond excited to partner with Kuumba and ChristianaCare to launch the Kuumba Academy School-Based Health Center at CEB and add to the list of holistic and integrated support we provide to students and their families.”
Today’s event coincides with Better World Day, an annual, national event on the first Friday in May. During Better World Day, students showcase their learning about initiatives that they believe will have a positive impact on their community and the world. Through collaboration and acts of service, students learn the power of their voice to make change.
Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, ChristianaCare is one of the country’s most dynamic health care organizations, centered on improving health outcomes, making high-quality care more accessible and lowering health care costs. ChristianaCare includes an extensive network of primary care and outpatient services, home health care, urgent care centers, three hospitals (1,299 beds), a freestanding emergency department, a Level I trauma center and a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, a comprehensive stroke center and regional centers of excellence in heart and vascular care, cancer care and women’s health. It also includes the pioneering Gene Editing Institute.
ChristianaCare is nationally recognized as a great place to work, rated by Forbes as the 2nd best health system for diversity and inclusion, and the 29th best health system to work for in the United States, and by IDG Computerworld as one of the nation’s Best Places to Work in IT. ChristianaCare is rated by Healthgrades as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals and continually ranked among the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek and other national quality ratings. ChristianaCare is a nonprofit teaching health system with more than 260 residents and fellows. With its groundbreaking Center for Virtual Health and a focus on population health and value-based care, ChristianaCare is shaping the future of health care.
About Kuumba Academy Charter School
Kuumba Academy Charter School’s mission is to provide an innovative learning environment for the whole child from kindergarten through eighth grade. Our directors, staff, and families share the core belief that parents are children’s primary educators. KACS parents, in partnership with teachers and administrators, believe that every child can maximize his or her learning potential given the opportunity to do so.
In response to the outcry from Wilmington parents looking for a high-quality public education and increased access to arts education for their children, Christina Cultural Arts Center leaders, parents, and community supporters took action and were granted a Department of Education charter to create Kuumba Academy Charter School (KACS) in 2001. KACS was the first school model in the state that partnered a public charter school with a nonprofit community organization.
Christina Cultural Arts Center (CCAC) and KACS form a unique nonprofit/public school partnership committed to educational excellence. Through the innovative union of academics, arts, technology, and family engagement, each KACS student’s individual learning style is nurtured—resulting in creative learners who are agents of positive change in the community.
The CCAC/KACS model is regarded by many as the single most significant achievement in Wilmington’s post public school desegregation history.
About the Community Education Building (CEB)
CEB was established in 2012 after Bank of America donated the former MBNA Bracebridge IV building to The Longwood Foundation. Living up to its commitment of increasing access to education, the Longwood Foundation created CEB as an independent entity, and transformed the space into an ecosystem to support the social, emotional, physical, and academic development of Wilmington’s youth.
CEB is an innovative co-location and shared services model. Focused on supporting the entire family, CEB offers vibrant programs and support systems that provide a sound foundation for each student. It serves as a hub for families by offering services such as healthy meals, life coaches, and mental health services. This model leads to deeper family engagement in their child’s learning and allows schools to focus on teaching and learning, not operations and overhead. CEB is an educational ecosystem that holistically integrates programs and resources for students and their families, ensuring that every student has an equitable opportunity to succeed.
Bettina Tweardy Riveros, J.D. Chief Health Equity Officer; Senior Vice President, Government Affairs and Community Engagement
Leads health equity and government affairs strategies to advance ChristianaCare's vision and mission to serve the community.