Feb. 12, 2003
The Catholic University of America’s School of Nursing will celebrate the grand opening of its new Child and Family Community Behavioral Health Center, a mental health clinic geared toward residents in Wards 5 and 6, with a dedication and free health screenings to be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2003. The festivities include classes in parenting, nutrition and substance abuse. Lead screening and childhood development screening also will be offered.
The health center — part of the nursing school’s Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Program — is located at The Pentacles apartment complex at 1515 Benning Rd., N.E., Washington, D.C. The center will be staffed by five CUA nursing school faculty members and nine graduate and undergraduate students from the School of Nursing. It is designed to assist the community while offering educational and training opportunities to CUA nursing students who are studying to become child and adolescent behavioral health care specialists.
Free primary care and mental health care services will be provided by the center, says CUA’s Deborah Shelton, the center’s project manager. These include sports physicals, smoking, alcohol and drug prevention and classes in parenting, creative arts, anger management and teen decision-making. The hours of operation have not been set yet.
The center is composed of three therapy rooms, two examination rooms and a lab. The Double H Housing Corporation, a local real estate management company, is providing the space to CUA in exchange for the university’s implementation of a community lead-screening program. Shelton says area graduate and undergraduate students, as well as primary care and mental health professionals, can sign up for internships and training at the center.
The project is part of the Edgewood/Brookland Family Support Collaborative, a Washington, D.C., community organization composed of 20 local schools, businesses, and advocacy groups. Though the nursing school will manage the health center, representatives from the other groups (which include Riverside Hospital and the D.C. Housing Authority) serve on its advisory board.
Future goals include the implementation of a “Kids to College” program that would allow CUA nursing faculty to visit area schools and inform students about career opportunities. Interested children could then participate in “Health Careers Summer Camps” offered by the School of Nursing.
The center has received a $1,000 grant from the Fannie Mae Corp. Used computers and furniture were donated by the Keane Center and CUA faculty donated toys and equipment such as VCRs and bulletin boards.
The Feb. 15 event is free and open to the public. For more information about the center, contact Deborah Shelton in the School of Nursing at 202-319-6451 or 443-621-4407 (cell).
MEDIA: Those wishing to cover the event should contact Chris Harrison or Victor Nakas in the Office of Public Affairs by calling 202-319-5600.
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