The St. Louis Children's Hospital advocacy and outreach programs transform the hospital's mission to "Do What is Right for Kids" into actionable plans involving constituents, employees, medical staff, donors and families. Reaching beyond the hospital setting, the Child Health Advocacy and Outreach department delivers health-related resources and education to families and communities throughout the St. Louis region to help keep them healthy, safe and to thrive.
To address essential needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, Child Health Advocacy and Outreach services have been modified to follow all prescribed social distancing and safety protocols as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the nation’s public health institute.
Community Health Initiatives
Our Healthy Kids umbrella of services help ensure all children have access to quality health care and address medical barriers that affect school attendance and learning.
- Virtual Care/Telemedicine – In 2020, virtual care services were introduced in Healthy Kids programs, and were then expanded to comply with CDC guidelines. Virtual care encompasses a variety of remote interactions that may use live video, audio, and instant messaging to communicate with students and guardians remotely in real-time.
- Healthy Kids Express™– This fleet of mobile vans is designed to bring health care to children in need throughout St. Louis City, the surrounding counties, and the Metro East. Each year, approximately 20,000 children and teens receive a range of services including hearing and vision screenings, dental and asthma care. Since the onset of COVID-19, all services and units have been modified to address CDC guidelines. A fourth mobile unit dedicated to diabetes will be launched in 2021.
- Healthy Kids, Healthy Minds™ – This program places school nurses and mental health professionals in public, private and charter schools to address students’ physical and psychological needs. Through virtual care, digital technology is used to reach students in select school districts for asthma control and mental health care.
- Food Allergy Management and Education (FAME) – This is a comprehensive school-based food allergy program which addresses the growing safety and public health concern of children at risk for life-threatening reactions from food allergy.
- Raising St. Louis – This initiative is designed to improve child health, meet developmental milestones, and support parents in raising children who reach their full potential. Any woman or family who lives within an identified 22 zip code area and is pregnant, or has a child up to age 5, is eligible to participate, at zero cost to the participant. Families are supported by visiting nurses, Parents as Teachers, community health workers, and behavioral health providers. Raising St. Louis operates virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Injury Prevention Initiatives
- Injury-Free Coalition for Kids– The Injury Free Coalition for Kids of St. Louis is a chapter of the nationwide Injury Free Coalition for Kids, composed of hospital-based, community-oriented programs anchored in research, education and advocacy. Injury Free St. Louis encompasses several injury prevention initiatives, including Safety Street and Safety Stop.
- Safety Street – Safety Street is a program that allows kindergarten through fifth grade students to experience potential street hazards in a controlled, safe learning environment. It is a life-sized cityscape, complete with homes, cars, a school bus, stray dogs, strangers and more.
- Safety Stop – Parents and caregivers can receive safety inspections and consultations for car seats, helmets, safe sleep and home safety from trained safety experts. A limited selection of car seats, helmets, cribettes and home safety equipment is available for purchase at a discount as part of a Safety Stop appointment. During the pandemic, in person consultations are offered to hospital inpatients, and virtual appointments are available to the public.
- Head to Toe Program – Offered virtually during the pandemic, this unique approach to weight management teaches youth (ages 8-17) how to live healthier lives by eating right and exercising regularly. While building self-esteem, kids engage in fun physical activities and learn about proper nutrition.
- Teen Outreach Program (TOP) – This evidence-based best practice program is used by schools and communities to empower teens to lead successful lives and build strong communities. TOP operates virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more community resources please visit our Community Resource Reference Guide.
We offer world-class care to children thanks in part to generous gifts from hundreds of people who have joined us in making health care better for all children. This philanthropic support enables us to fulfill our mission to do what's right for kids.