Education is a critical social determinant of health. Poor health can put education at risk – contributing to higher absenteeism rates, lower academic achievement and educational setbacks that interfere with schooling. Conversely, education creates opportunities for better health – adults with more education tend to have better jobs, live in healthier neighborhoods and have better access to resources that contribute to better health.

Given this critical intersection, RESOLVE and Children's National Hospital are leading an initiative to help hospitals and health systems become school-friendly.

"A school-friendly health system is one designed to ensure all children reach optimal health and achieve their full academic potential."

This week, Children's National and RESOLVE released School-Friendly Health Systems (SFHS) Core Principles and Practices to Guide Health Systems to Help Children Reach Their Full Potential. The SFHS framework includes five principles that reflect a broad range of competencies, practices, and policy positions that health care and school health experts and stakeholders view as emblematic of a SFHS – some already practiced, some aspirational. This framework is informed by hundreds of practitioners working at the intersection of health and education as well as family and community members.

RESOLVE and Children's National are now convening a cohort of seven hospitals, health systems, and health clinics working to align with the SFHS framework and put the principles into practice. Cohort members include Children's Health Orange County (Orange, CA), Children's Hospital & Medical Center (Omaha, NE), Children's Mercy (Kansas City, MO), Children's National Hospital (Washington, DC), Children's Wisconsin (Milwaukee, WI), Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (Cincinnati, OH), and St. Luke's Children's Hospital (Boise, ID). With the official release of the SFHS framework, the Collaborative is now focusing on developing tools to support implementation. The Collaborative will evaluate how the adoption of the SFHS framework across diverse settings has strengthened the healthcare sector's relationships with schools, students and families and ability to improve health and academic outcomes.

For more information on the SFHS Learning Collaborative, contact

Mason Hines