The Harlem Children’s Health Project (HCHP), an innovative comprehensive health resource center that is designed to improve the health of children in Central Harlem, provides health assessments, medical care, oral health services, mental health services, referrals, health education and the Neuberger Berman Health Promotion Learning Lab.
The HCHP is a school-based health center that provides medical, dental and mental health services, all under one roof. Next to the patient waiting room, a high-tech computer lab with interactive health education software attracts young people’s interest. What makes this health center even more unique is its location on the fifth floor of Harlem Children Zone’s Promise Academy, a New York City charter school for middle and high school students. HCHP’s comprehensive, on-site clinical and health-education services are available to all students year-round, regardless of a family’s ability to pay. HCHP extends its reach into the community by working with various Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) programs, performing focused health screenings, outreach and referrals through the “Healthy Connections” program. Students with unmet health needs are linked to existing community health services, such as eye doctors, dentists, or social services.
HCHP extends its reach beyond the scope of the schools through health education efforts that serve the entire community. HCHP provides access to health education technology; educates students and families on urgent health issues; promotes healthy lifestyle choices; and establishes replicable education models for use in other communities. The core of the educational programming takes place in the Neuberger Berman Health Promotion Learning Lab, the aforementioned computer lab inside HCHP’s school based health center. The Learning Lab provides interactive software and computer learning stations - as well as Children’s Health Fund(CHF)’s own field-tested health education materials - to educate Promise Academy students, faculty members, parents and the larger HCZ community about personal, community and public health.
By incorporating CHF’s clinical and support services with the Harlem Children’s Zone’s comprehensive approach to rebuilding Central Harlem, thousands of children and their families benefit from increased access to continuous, high-quality health care. Acting as a health care advocate for the community, the HCHP helps to assure that existing health resources are well-utilized, and that Central Harlem residents make informed choices about how to access the best health care for their children and families.