To improve the health and wellbeing of its teenaged students, CPS has partnered with the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and other community organizations to create Chicago's Action Plan for Healthy Adolescents.
A component of Healthy Chicago – the public health agenda set forth by Mayor Rahm Emanuel - this plan identifies 65 strategies for improving adolescent health and reaching measurable health targets by the year 2020.
"When I first launched Healthy Chicago, we promised to provide Chicago's young people with every opportunity to get and stay healthy," said Mayor Emanuel. "We have already made tremendous progress in this area, and as this plan shows, we are committed to making even more progress in the years ahead."
This action plan, which was the collaborative project of more than 50 health, policy and education experts, was unveiled at Jones College Prep High School – an event that joined Chicago youth with community partners from across the city. It is divided into seven priority areas that are unique to adolescent health, including nutrition, physical activity, behavioral health services, teen pregnancy prevention, and improved access to care.
"The health and wellness of our students is fundamental to academic growth, which is why the District is taking strides to remove health-related barriers to learning," said Dr. Stephanie Whyte, Chief Health Officer for CPS. "Through this plan, we can provide supports to help schools build capacity and implement services that improve and promote the health and safety of Chicago's students."
Through its support of initiatives like the Teen Outreach Program, and its continued mission to increase access to quality school health services for all students, the CPS Office of Student Health and Wellness (OSHW) will fully support the implementation of this plan. And by approving recent health-related measures, including a new District-wide physical education policy, the Chicago Board of Education has made it clear that student health is a top priority for the District.
"To ensure a healthy Chicago, we must first work to ensure the health and wellbeing of our young people," said Dr. Bechara Choucair, Commissioner of the CDPH. "This plan provides concrete, collaborative, evidence-based strategies that will improve the health and wellbeing of adolescents across our great city."