Cerner Charitable Foundation understands that healthy students make better learners. However, life circumstances can ultimately keep children from accessing essential healthcare and developing their full health potential. Through our school health and wellness programs, we strive to close the gaps in care.
During the 2021-2022 school year, Cerner Charitable Foundation provided wellness screenings in elementary schools, a social-emotional wellness program in middle schools and a healthy lifestyle curriculum for high school students to partner schools in 31 states.
Elementary Wellness Screenings (Healthe Kids Screenings)
Our free wellness screenings include hearing, vision, vital signs and a complete head-to-toe assessment for elementary students. A registered nurse identifies potential issues and recommend referrals for follow-up monitoring and care.
This school year, Cerner Charitable Foundation screened 16,563 students across the Kansas City metro area.
“Usually, anything healthcare related comes with hesitation. Not this! Thank you for providing a stress-free screening!” shared a Glendale Elementary in Independence, Missouri, parent after their child’s wellness screening.
Middle School Social-Emotional Wellness (Healthe Perceptions)
Physical changes, an increase in academic rigor, and social factors make the middle school years a pivotal time for early adolescent development. Our middle school social-emotional wellness program provides comprehensive, evidence-based mental health support for students and staff. We offer a learning curriculum, staff development, free social-emotional wellness screenings and access to follow up care.
During the 2021-2022 school year, Cerner Charitable Foundation delivered the program to 3,536 students and 278 teachers across four middle schools. We also provided 1,300 sensory tools like Pop Its and fidget spinners for the students at Center Middle School in Kansas City, Missouri, to help them stay calm and focused in the classroom.
The program makes a profound impact on students, changing the culture of the schools we serve in a positive way. “Miller Park uses the program every day. Teachers love it, and the students really get into it,” according to Kimberly Alonzo, assistant principal at Miller Park Center in Lee’s Summit School District.
High School Healthy Lifestyle Curriculum (Healthe Foundations)
During adolescence, teenagers begin to make their own decisions about food, activity level and other lifestyle choices. Our free high school program includes a curriculum with personal application components and teaches teens to take charge of their health, showing how today’s decisions can shape their future. The curriculum is designed for in-person, online or hybrid learning making it an impactful resource for teachers.
The innovative and flexible nature of the program let Cerner Charitable Foundation deliver it to 12,401 high school students in 31 states this school year.
More than 110 new teachers utilized the curriculum for the first time. “This was the first time I implemented the program and I used it as a ‘final project’ for the semester. I feel like it was a beneficial tool for my students. I feel like it was a great project to wrap up our semester because it tied together many of the topics we discussed throughout the semester,” said Ryan Fick, a health teacher at Blair Oaks High School in Missouri.
Children facing difficult times—like placement in foster care—can feel lost, scared or alone and may have few possessions. The sometimes-sudden upheaval of their lives means they may not have basics like a change of clothes or a toothbrush. Through our Care Kits program, they receive their own kits full of age-appropriate personal items, creating a sense of comfort and security.
Through our partner districts, Cerner Charitable Foundation identifies students facing these circumstances and provides them with kits. During this school year, we provided 1,917 Care Kits to 26 partner schools.
Through these health and wellness programs, we are helping students feel empowered to take charge of their health and closing the gaps in care so every child may reach their full health potential. Now it’s time to recharge and prepare to do it all again in the fall!