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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 07/16/02
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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College of Pharmacy Receives $153,000 Grant

Cincinnati--The University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Pharmacy has received $153,000 in funding from the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati for the evaluation of health outcomes and costs among Medicaid recipients enrolled in School-Based Health Center (SBHC) programs. The principal investigator for the study is Jeff J. Guo, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacoeconomics and faculty research fellow for the Institute of Health Policy and Health Services Research (IHPHSR) at UC.

The two-year study, which began in May 2002 and will end April 2004, will use Medicaid databases to track students enrolled in eight SBHC programs established in 2000 in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The study will track the students enrolled in the program and compare their health status to students that have not enrolled. For privacy proposes, the identity of the individual students will remain anonymous by assigning a number to the students and tracking that number. Researchers hope to ascertain whether the SBHC program is cost beneficial by determining the impact the program has had on the overall health of the students enrolled in the program.

Dr. Guo and his co-investigators, including Raymond Jang, PhD, professor of pharmacy administration, Robert Cluxton, PharmD, associate professor of pharmacy practices and Mark Carroza, director of database management at the IHPHSR hope to prove the SBHC program is beneficial to students in Greater Cincinnati.

"We believe School-Based Health Centers provide essential health care for children in schools, eliminate many healthcare access barriers and ultimately improve the health status of children," Dr. Guo explains. "For example, a student who is sick can go to a SBHC and receive treatment immediately, rather than wait until his parents can take the time off work, schedule an appointment with a doctor and get him treatment. This is especially important in acute cases when a delay in treatment may result in a visit to the emergency room or a hospital stay, which is very costly healthcare."

"In the United State, there are currently 45 states with some type of school-based healthcare programs," Dr. Guo says. "In the last year, over 13,000 programs have been established and most are funded by foundations such as the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati as well as some federal and state agencies. In order to continue these programs, improve them, as well as establish them in other communities where they are needed, we must first understand their impact and cost benefits."

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