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The Rales Center

The Ruth and Norman Rales Center for the Integration of Health and Education is redesigning school-based health programs to improve the health and thus the academic achievements and lifelong prospects for youth from low-income communities.

Established in 2014 as a program of the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center at Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Ruth and Norman Rales Center for the Integration of Health and Education will be a national leader in, and an advocate for, children’s health and health care that is anchored in the context of their schools.

The first fully integrated school-based health model in the United States, called “READY” (Rales Educational and Health Advancement of Youth) breaks down historical silos between educational and health-related activities. Weaving comprehensive health services and wellness programming into the school environment helps children thrive and achieve academic success.

READY offers a fundamentally new way of viewing primary care, wherein health (including mental health and oral health) services, wellness programming and prevention, and health education are delivered in the school setting, in partnership with teachers, administrators and parents.

READY differs in important ways from traditional school health programs, in which clinics are simply housed within schools. Traditional programs have little capacity to seek out and follow those children most in need of their services; staffing constraints limit their ability to provide a stable source of primary care. READY, by contrast, fully integrates health into the school environment, curriculum and activities that engage students on a daily basis.

The Rales Center will develop, implement, evaluate and disseminate its new approach to children’s health, showing how health and education can advance hand in hand within the school environment. As it demonstrates this approach in Baltimore, the Rales Center will build a foundation of good physical and mental health for vulnerable children in our community – a foundation that supports healthy behaviors and bolsters academic, occupational, social and athletic performance throughout childhood and into adulthood.

Learn more about our model, Rales Center Brochure.

An Innovative Approach