The Trenton Health Team (THT) in the Trenton Public Schools has been awarded a five year $300,000 grant by the Princeton Area Community Foundations’s “All Kids Thrive” https://pacf.org/all-kids-thrive initiative. The plan is to combat absenteeism in the Trenton school system by transforming the lives of people living in poverty which is one of the top risk factors for chronic student absenteeism.
The THT is partnering with the school system to match school absentee records with EHRs in the Trenton Health Information Exchange (HIE) in order to identify overlaps between school absenteeism and health conditions.
According to Gregory Paulson, Executive Director for THT, “Linking healthcare data with school data will enable the power of cross-sector collaboration with the health data system so we can connect the youth with the care and services needed.”
THT will analyze the data to identify specific students and families where health may be a barrier to regular school attendance. At this point, after obtaining consent from families to participate, the team will work with school personnel and partner organizations to provide appropriate interventions.
Poor home conditions can contribute to illnesses such as asthma, which is a frequent cause for school absence in Trenton. For chronically absent students with asthma, TNT will partner with Isles, Inc. https://isles.org to address problems like dust, mold, and lead contamination in homes.
Peter Rose, Managing Director of Community Enterprises at Isles, Inc., “Through our partnership with THT, we will assess the homes of children with high absenteeism, educate families on how to keep home more safe and healthy, and address costly underlying issues which may cause the condition.”