Identifying and Addressing Barriers to Classroom Success, Creating Optimal Conditions for Learning
Dr. Earl F. Calcutt Middle School
SMART BRIDGING HEALTH AND ACADEMIC GAPS WIDENED BY PANDEMIC
Patricia Martinez, Chief Equity and Empowerment Officer, Central Falls School District; Dr. Christopher Conti, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Ginn Group Collaborative and SMART; Melanie Ginn, President and CEO, Ginn Group Collaborative and Architect of the SMART Model; Dr. Stephanie Downey Toledo, Superintendent of Schools, Central Falls School District; Ernie DuPont, Executive Director Workforce Initiatives at CVS Health; Ann Lynch, Deputy Superintendent, Central Falls School District
Renita Quick, Chief of Staff, Ginn Group Collaborative; Joseph Diaz, MD, MPH, Associate Dean for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs; Alison Buckser, MPH, Associate Director, Foundation Relations at Brown University; and Cindy Montoya, National Implementation and Utilization Manager
Welcome to The Ginn Group
Ginn Group Collaborative (GGC), led by President and CEO Melanie Ginn, is a nationally recognized design management firm with a proven track record in delivering exceptional outcomes and incisive analysis for clients. GGC brings objective and insightful perspective and expertise to review, research, develop, and deliver advanced business and legal analysis, strategies, and solutions. The GGC team is comprised of an exceptionally “deep bench” of talented multi-disciplinary professionals. Every aspect of their work is infused with an entrepreneurial spirit, a drive for excellence, a fearless willingness to take the road less traveled, and a passion for solving problems with the most efficacious, cost-effective, and swiftest solutions. As one client exclaimed, “Melanie is like a Corporate Sherpa, providing guidance that delivers incredible results!”
SMART (School Health Model for Academics Reaching All and Transforming Lives) is an educational solution that focuses on breaking the cycle of poverty and improving the trajectory of lives by supporting academic achievement through onsite SMART Centers. Our centers identify and address the physical, behavioral, social, and emotional barriers to classroom success through the proactive delivery of on-site integrative health services, in real time.
The SMART Model delivers a comprehensive, system-wide strategy for education-driven health services. The model is built on the numerous, well-documented interconnections between the “Whole Child” factors of physical and behavioral health, wellness, social and emotional learning, and educational attainment.
The SMART approach not only increases the health, success, and overall well-being of individuals; it reaches families and school staff, positively impacting entire communities.
Origins of SMART: Analyzing the Health Center Challenge
- Ginn Group Collaborative had been evaluating school-based health centers’ lack of sustainability and utilization. Key factors that were identified as undermining their success were reactiveness, a failure to manage costs, siloed operations, and the misallocation of resources away from activities that deliver key outcomes.
- Poor health outcomes were adversely affecting academic achievement and graduation rates, which in turn lowered competency rates and the ability to meaningfully participate in future workforce opportunities.
GGC’s innovative solutions quickly increased productivity, increased billing revenue, and broadened outcomes to more stakeholders.
- In 2012, CVS Health brought their support for this landmark work as a Legacy Sponsor with a long-term commitment to SMART as an innovation in health care delivery that meets unmet needs, closes health equity gaps, and improves outcomes at lower costs for individuals on their path to improved socioeconomic status.
What Our Clients and Partners Say
The Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s mission has been expanded thanks to Melanie’s connectivity, strategy, and vision. From working with us to develop a sustainable and measurable track for Latino talent into healthcare fields with CVS Health to spearheading innovative research and models that deliver economic impacts, like SMART, she facilitates and brokers-bringing partners together for the common cause of moving communities and America forward.
[Melanie] partnered with the communications and marketing unit as a trusted and knowledgeable consultant who provides expert advice and assistance with major projects. She has brought a broad range of valuable skill sets, and her core capabilities include administration, communication, customer service, leadership, planning, analytical skills, professionalism, resourcefulness, dependability, and personal qualities that make working with her very fun, enjoyable, and effective.
In 25 years of working with schools and communities to improve the lives of at-risk children and youth, I have never seen an approach or intervention with the capacity that the SMART model has to bring about dramatic improvements. By bringing together proven health and behavioral health care methods in a new and unique delivery model, Ginn Group Collaborative and CVS Health has forged the tool we have been looking for to help our children.
For too many of our students, the barriers to good physical and emotional health are negatively impacting their capacity to learn and subsequent socio-economic life trajectories. The SMART model’s approach to ensuring the wellness of every student in the building, with the purpose of academic achievement, is unique and yields powerful results.
When noting the evolution of the public school system and its hallmark features, I can see the day when SMART Student Health and Wellness Centers are as normative within public education as libraries—one in every school. It is paramount that students in the classroom be physically and mentally healthy, providing each the best opportunity to participate and learn. SMART identifies and reduces the barriers to student success and creates/improves the conditions that maximize the capacity for educators to teach.
CVS is proud to have played a part in supporting and actively participating in the type of public-private partnership that fueled a high impact, lower cost socio-economic solution like SMART that, at its core, aims to break the cycle of poverty and positively change the trajectory of young lives.
The pandemic has made it clear to all how health care gaps hurt students and families in Central Falls every day — that is why we are so excited to welcome the SMART team to our community. Our students, families and school community will benefit from this SMART Clinic for years to come.
Supporting the health of our students and our entire school community can be a powerful change in RI and a much-needed resource for our families. When we heard the story of SMART’s impact in other schools and communities across the country, we immediately knew it could make a real difference for RI students, staff, and families.
Warren Alpert Medical School is the first medical school to partner with a SMART Clinic, and the project can serve as a model for medical schools and communities throughout the country. We are extremely excited about the opportunity to introduce Central Falls students to a variety of careers in health care and to increase their sense of possibility in terms of what types of professional futures are available to them.
- Founders of LIFE Male STEAM Academy
The LIFE Male STEAM Academy’s SMART Health and Wellness Center is a cornerstone of our Academy’s Whole Child 360° approach, which allows us to reach and address the deep underlying issues and challenges that serve as barriers to emotional health, learning, and achievement. The clinical staff does not remain in the SMART Center waiting for students to come; they are proactive in coming to the students and faculty, which builds relationships that demonstrate love, care, and concern.