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8/21/18news article

back-to-school initiative aims to increase adolescent well-child visits

CareSource leads collaborative effort to build awareness about preventive care

CareSource, Dayton Public Schools, Five Rivers Health Centers, Dayton Children’s Hospital and Community Health Centers of Greater Dayton have partnered to build awareness about the importance of adolescent well-visits.

The Federal Department of Medicaid/Keeping Americans Healthy reports that Ohio adolescent well-visits are below the median of 42 percent for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) populations. This initiative was identified as an opportunity for each of the five Ohio Health plans following national research about adolescent well-visits and preventative care.

To get the numbers above the 50 percent mark, CareSource reached out to key partners in the Dayton community to develop activities that would promote the initiative.

“The partnership developed an education and outreach plan to help parents, children and the entire community understand the importance of scheduling a well-child visit and to distinguish the difference between the sports physical and the adolescent well-visit,” said Deb Mals, Vice President, Care4U at CareSource.

The attention during the school year is generally focused on the sports physical, which is just the beginning of the total checkup.

“A sports physical is a limited exam that only evaluates health issues that would prevent a child from participating in a school sports activity,” said Jonathan Thackeray MD, chief medical community health officer at Dayton Children’s Hospital. “The adolescent well-visit is a more holistic approach to health and well-being.”

Why the well-child visit is important for adolescents (11-21 years old):


  • Contributes to building strong trusting relationships with their doctor
  • Promotes discussions about health topics
  • Provides a checkup on growth and development
  • Delivers nutritional and stress management advice and support
  • Identifies and delivers needed immunizations

Gregg Hopkins, executive director, Community Health Centers of Greater Dayton said, “The adolescent years are important in a child’s life and can be filled with major physical, physiological and social development. We are excited to be part of this effort to talk about health holistically.”

Parents and caregivers should be aware that teens and young adults should receive a well-visit annually. Medicaid insurance covers both the sports physical and the well visit for members. Families with private insurance should contact their insurer for coverage details.

Partnership community activities:

  • Education / outreach at Dayton Public Schools back to school rally – August 12
  • Development and distribution of a well-visit video (posted on YouTube and each on organization’s website.
  • FAQ guide for families about the adolescent and young adult well-visit

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