March 24, 2022
Media contact: Jeremy Butterfield, firstname.lastname@example.org
Carilion Clinic, Delta Dental of Virginia, Freedom First Credit Union, Roanoke City Public Schools and community leaders today celebrated the Local Impact for Tomorrow (LIFT) Center grand opening at Fallon Park Elementary School.
“This is a day that we have all been looking forward to, and we are excited for LIFT to provide its services to the southeast community,” said Verletta White, Roanoke City Public Schools superintendent. “Good health and well-being are vital to ensuring that students are ready to learn, and we are grateful to have access to onsite services specifically designed for our students and families.”
The LIFT Center serves Southeast Roanoke by providing vital support and services to the students and families of Fallon Park Elementary. The Center features a pediatric clinic, oral health and mental health services, financial coaching, health and wellness education, and access to other community resources in one convenient location. LIFT was created and supported by a coalition of community partners, including Carilion, Delta Dental of Virginia, Freedom First Credit Union and Roanoke City Public Schools.
“With the help of our partners, LIFT is transforming the traditional school health and wellness services model through a holistic approach focused on proactive clinical intervention, family and community education, and a strategic priority to connect local families with resources in the community that will have a lasting impact on lives,” said Nancy Howell Agee, Carilion Clinic President and CEO.
With the LIFT doors officially open, Fallon Park Elementary students can receive pediatric services during the school day. The LIFT Center also provides mental health support, dental exams and cleanings, health coaching and education, financial coaching and education, and more.
LIFT’s onsite oral health care includes routine cleanings, fillings, and other services. Oral health can sometimes be overlooked, but it plays a vital role in overall health.
“Cavities are preventable, yet they remain one of the most common chronic childhood diseases in the United States, and studies have shown that children who have poor oral health are at risk for missing more school and receiving lower grades than children who don’t,” said Frank Lucia, Delta Dental of Virginia President and CEO. “When introduced early, positive oral health habits can help prevent cavities and put children on an early path to success.”
LIFT also promotes financial health and wellness through onsite financial coaching to help families increase their savings, establish or improve their credit, decrease debt and improve overall financial capability.
“Health and wellness have a large financial component. Difficulty with finances can keep a family from being able to invest in their health, and that is why we are committed to helping the Fallon Park community achieve economic success and a better quality of life,” said Paul Phillips, Freedom First Credit Union President and CEO. “Our bilingual counselor will also be able to help many of Fallon Park’s Spanish-speaking families navigate the complexities of the financial industry.”
The need for LIFT services in the Fallon Park community is evident. Three consecutive Community Health Needs Assessment cycles identified the community as a high-priority area experiencing poor health and wellness indicators and barriers to accessing services and support. Coalition partners engaged the community, specifically Fallon Park Elementary parents, to uncover the services they believed LIFT should prioritize at the school.
“Engaging Fallon Park teachers, students and families in the services and programming offered is essential for positive long-term results,” said Shirley Holland, Carilion Vice President of Planning and Community Development. “We’re now able to confidently develop programming to meet the community where they are with services directly related to their needs, which is vital to creating lasting positive health outcomes for these students and families.”
LIFT partners plan ongoing evaluations of Southeast Roanoke’s health and wellness needs to identify ongoing programs and services for Fallon Park Elementary students and families.