Irvine, CA (PressExposure) July 10, 2012 -- The Children and Families Commission of Orange County approved the allocation of $500,000 to the SOS-El Sol Wellness Center, to establish a permanent clinic and wellness center at the Santa Ana charter school, El Sol Science and Arts Academy. The allocation continues the Commission's commitment to partnering with agencies to provide community-based health care services.
The Commission's investment will help transform an existing collection of six exam rooms, three practitioner offices and a lab --- all located in a modular unit at the school --- into a 3,000-square-foot fixed site location for the SOS-El Sol Wellness Center, scheduled to open in 18 months.
"We're very excited," said Monique Daviss, executive director of El Sol Science and Arts Academy. "This generous gift will allow us to deepen and strengthen our program. We're committed to creating a school community that is focused on wellness and one that provides the education and tools for students to be responsible for their own good health."
Michael M. Ruane, executive director of the Children and Families Commission of Orange County, said the $500,000 in funding underscores the Commission's dedication to preventative and educational approaches to health-care issues such as childhood obesity and dental care in communities that need these services most.
"The Commission has been heavily invested in the successful implementation of pediatric medical services at the El Sol Academy through an existing matching-grant partnership with the Merage Foundation's Children's First Initiative," Ruane said. "The SOS-El Sol Wellness Center, operated by Share Our Selves, provides exceptional services that will be expanded upon and improved with the completion of this exciting new permanent home."
Essentially, the expansion of the Wellness Center will double the amount of services available through a variety of integrated service providers, including Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County. The Center currently provides well and sick-child visits, referrals to specialists, care coordination, health insurance enrollment assistance and other services.
According to Karen McGlinn, executive director of Share Our Selves, the partnership at the SOS-El Sol Wellness Center will serve as a model in providing high-quality comprehensive care for the community for other school-based clinics.
"By providing an expanded array of comprehensive medical services, we are aiming to make the Wellness Center a resource not just for the school, but for the surrounding community," Daviss said. "Because we're a community school, it's important that we go beyond our immediate campus and reach out to the surrounding community in an impactful way."
About the Children and Families Commission of Orange County The Children and Families Commission of Orange County oversees the allocation of funds from Proposition 10, which added a 50-cent tax on tobacco products sold in California. Almost $47 million was allocated last year to fund 170 programs that served more than 165,800 young children. Funds help pay for early education, pediatric primary and specialty health care, children's dental, homeless prevention, and child development programs for children from the prenatal stage to age 5 and their families. The Commission's goal is to ensure all children are healthy and ready to learn when they enter school. For more information, please visit http://www.occhildrenandfamilies.com.
About the El Sol Science and Arts Academy
El Sol Science and Arts Academy, established in 2001, currently enrolls 770 students from preschool to the 8th grade. Espousing the value of accountability on the part of students, teachers, administrators, parents and the community, the dual-immersion charter school has dramatically raised its test scores over the decade to become one of the top-two performing schools in Santa Ana, with a 57 percent increase in API scores over the last eight years. For more information, please visit http://www.elsolacademy.net
About Share Our Selves
Share Our Selves is one of the largest, most comprehensive, volunteer based support agencies providing for the needs of low-income and homeless individuals and families in Orange County residents. Services provided annually to more than 100,000 individuals include high quality and efficient medical and dental care, case management, food, financial assistance, legal aid, and special holiday programs. In these difficult economic times, the integral safety net services that SOS provides to the community are more important than ever. For more information, please visit http://www.shareourselves.org