How Schools are Transforming Culture to Help Students Heal

Lancaster Osteopathic Health Foundation recently partnered with the Lancaster Education Foundation to sponsor the film screening of Paper Tigers at J.P. McCaskey High School. LOHF Board of Directors met at J.P. McCaskey High School before the film and we watched Paper Tigers together. Since then, I’ve been talking with our board members about what we learned and how we can support this work in Lancaster County.

We’ve been following the work of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). ACEs is a landmark study revealing a dose-response relationship between childhood stress and negative health and wellbeing across the lifespan.

In 2014, we invited Dr. Ken Ginsburg from CHOP to teach our community about reaching teens through resiliency. We’re inspired by pediatricians like Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris and Dr. Roy Wade and our colleagues at other health foundations supporting grants to improve trauma-informed care in our communities across the country. We applaud schools in Lancaster County like the School District of Lancaster for asking the tough questions about changing school culture to embrace love and healing for all students.

We remain hopeful that as these conversations continue, whether in medicine or in schools, change will occur. But we need to help our medical community and our schools talk with each other. At LOHF, we are encouraging those conversations, and work is underway. In partnership with the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit, IU13, we are asking primary care physicians and school administrator about their experiences helping to improve behavioral health for children. Conversations are starting and this progress is encouraging.

If you would like to learn more about our work to help primary care providers and schools connect to improve behavioral health for children, please visit www.lohf.org!

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