From the Director – A New Chapter

Holidays + Stress = ?
December 21, 2012
Did you know February is School-Based Health Center Awareness Month?
January 22, 2013

It is with mixed emotions that I share with you that I will be leaving my UMHS position as Director of the Regional Alliance for Healthy Schools (RAHS) and Adolescent Health Initiative on January 11th. When I started at the University of Michigan Health System working in the RAHS program, then called HealthPlace 101, we consisted of 2 staff (in addition to myself) providing physical and mental health services in 2 part-time health centers in the Ann Arbor Public Schools. A lot has changed over the last 14 years, and it has been an exciting journey!

RAHS has grown to over 36 staff (and counting) and, in addition to providing physical and mental health services, is providing dietician services, prevention programming, referral and case management to over 4000 families in Washtenaw County. RAHS now provides these services in 5 fully operating health centers and 1 part-time center in 4 school districts. Over the years, we have established measurable outcomes for the services and programs provided through RAHS, have used those measures to show the differences we have made in many lives, and have become a leader in school-based health care. I am proud of the quality and caliber of health care RAHS provides to the youth and families we serve!

It has been an honor and privilege to work with such passionate and dedicated people throughout my career at the University of Michigan Health System within the RAHS Health Centers, the Adolescent Health Initiative, and in the community. It was a difficult decision to leave as I love my work, but my outside interests are growing too big to be able to do everything – although if you have worked with me you know I do strive to do everything! So, for now I will be continuing to work with the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) as a consultant and will also be working on projects using the RAAPS (adolescent risk screening tool).

I’m looking forward to our paths crossing again as we continue to work together to improve the lives of adolescents in Michigan!

All the best, Jennifer Salerno.