January 10, 2014

Healthy Learners shows consistently positive results in evaluation

Twenty-one years after it was founded, Healthy Learners continues to show positive outcomes among all of its constituent groups, which include students, parents, school nurses and medical providers. The findings come from a study conducted by evaluation consultant Cathy Blume, M.Ed.

Multiple methods, including surveys, focus groups and analysis of data from the program database, provided information representing several hundred individuals across the four constituent groups, gauging their satisfaction with Healthy Learners and the impact of its services.

“Every year I have worked with Healthy Learners, the evaluation results are always so overwhelmingly positive across all constituent groups. Negative feedback, if it is fair to even call it that, more often focuses on the need for program expansion than on suggested program improvements,” said Blume.

The evaluation focused on seven program outcomes, with each outcome exceeding established goals. Highlights of a few of these outcomes include:

  • 96% of the children referred during the 2012-2013 school year who were not enrolled in Medicaid but appeared eligible were assisted with or referred for Medicaid enrollment.
  • Health literacy increased among children referred for all services. For example, among children referred for behavioral health services, 82% reported learning about managing their conditions and 82% reported learning about the importance of taking medication as directed.
  • 97% of the medical providers who responded to the survey reported that they were “very satisfied” with procedures used to arrange appointments and ensure that children are on time and prepared for their office visits.

Blume said school nurses who participated in focus groups described Healthy Learners as being efficient and effective, “to a remarkable degree.” They also indicated that it would be a great loss not to have Healthy Learners as a resource for their students.

“The results reflect the fact that Healthy Learners is very successful in maintaining valued partnerships with local school personnel and medical providers, which enables the program to assist children in getting needed medical services promptly,” Blume added. “The evaluation also indicates that the Healthy Learners staff is very dedicated to the work they do.”

This article appears in the latest issue of “Healthy Insights from Healthy Learners.” Click on the link to read more news about Healthy Learners and the students it serves.

Healthy Learners is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

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