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About The Rales Center

 

Founded in 2014 in partnership with the Norman and Ruth Rales Foundation and the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, the Rales Center for the Integration of Health and Education (Rales Center) is working to fundamentally reimagine school health to better meet the needs of children from low-income communities.

The vision of Rales Center is to be a national leader in developing, evaluating, and disseminating new models of school health that integrate health, educational, and developmental services for young people and their families to measurably improve the health and future productivity of children and adolescents, their families, and their communities. Our goal is to improve children’s lifelong prospects by improving their health and academic success.

Traditionally, school-based health centers provide health services to a subset of students but are separate (or co-located) from the educational environment. In contrast, the Rales Center’s model uses a multidisciplinary team of health professionals and wellness experts who are fully integrated into the school in order to meet the needs of the whole child. The Rales Center is pioneering the design, implementation, and rigorous evaluation of the nation’s first fully-integrated, comprehensive school-based health center, The Rales Health Center (RHC) at KIPP Baltimore, two public charter schools that share one building in the Walbrook neighborhood of Baltimore City. Together, the two schools serve more than 1500 students.

The Rales Center is testing an intuitive but rarely implemented, idea: that providing high-quality, accessible pediatric care, coupled with intensive family relationship-building and tailored wellness programming can engage families with systems of care, thus improving both student health and school engagement. As part of this holistic approach to wellness, the Rales model provides comprehensive preventive and acute care, proactive screening and population health programs, chronic disease management, family advocacy, and engagement in addition to schoolwide student and teacher wellness programming, socio-emotional skills development, and linkages to mental health care. We aim to provide a safe, affirming, and supportive environment and to serve as a pathway to engagement with needed resources for many families.

An Innovative Approach