ST. LOUIS, MO (September 8, 2016) – SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation
has received a $49,965 award from the St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund, a taxpayer supported fund, as part of the Innovation Cycle. The Innovation Cycle identified inventive programs that developed new models and standards of practice in behavioral health.
Children with social-skills challenges find it difficult to fit in with classmates, often making them the targets of bullying or ostracism. Such children can develop mental-health issues that last into adulthood, resulting in serious life impairments. To address this issue, staff from the Knights of Columbus Developmental Center at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon partnered with Margaret M. Buerkle Middle School in the Mehlville School District to adapt an existing program to a school environment. This program, an abbreviated form of the Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®), teaches students having social difficulties while at school, including students with and without developmental issues. An investigative pilot, also funded by the Children’s Service Fund’s Discovery Cycle, showed great results in improved social interactions, less involvement in bullying and overall improved emotional health for all students who participated.
This allocation will be used to bring Abbreviated PEERS back to the school setting and train teachers, counselors and administrators to present the program, greatly expanding the reach of the curriculum. “Our team is enthusiastic to bring this program to Buerkle Middle School again,” said Dr. Jennifer Heithaus, Fellow in Developmental Pediatrics at the Knights of Columbus Developmental Center at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon. With the addition of training school staff to teach Abbreviated PEERS, “we are hopeful for similar results, and that the school will then be able to continue this program for many years to come.”
“While much work has been to done to address bullying in schools, the unfortunate reality is that it still occurs, especially for students with social skills challenges,” said Connie J. Cunningham,
St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund executive director. “SSM Health Cardinal Glennon’s abbreviated PEERS is making great headway in reducing incidents of bullying by creating a safe environment for all students to learn and flourish. CSF is looking forward to the continued success of this program.”
About SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital
SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Hospital is a 195-bed, not-for-profit, inpatient and outpatient pediatric medical center. Cardinal Glennon serves children primarily from eastern Missouri and southern Illinois, but also treats children from across the U.S. and from countries around the world.
The hospital is home to a Level 1 pediatric trauma center and a Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, both the highest level designation. Other specialties include cardiology, critical care, pulmonology, minimally invasive surgery, fetal surgery, hematology/oncology, sleep disorders, gastroenterology and others.
State-wide poison control services are provided through the Missouri Poison Center. Perinatal outreach programs, sports medicine outreach and a network of specialty and emergency care programs are distributed throughout Missouri and Illinois to help fulfill a mission to provide for the health and safety of infants and children beyond the walls of the hospital.
SSM Cardinal Glennon is a teaching hospital affiliated with the Saint Louis University Schools of Medicine and Nursing as well as nine other educational institutions. Cardinal Glennon is a member of SSM Health, the nation’s first health care winner of the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
Learn more about SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital at glennon.org or cardinalglennon.com.
About the St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund
The St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund is the largest children’s service fund in the state of Missouri, generating approximately $40 million annually through a ¼ cent sales tax. Passed by County voters in 2008, the Fund is governed by Missouri State Statutes to provide behavioral health and substance abuse services for County residents 0-19 years-old in the following ten service areas: temporary shelter, respite care, services to teen parents, outpatient substance abuse, transitional living, home and community-based services, crisis intervention, prevention, counseling, and outpatient psychiatric services. Since its first allocation in 2010, CSF has given out over $200 million to local nonprofits and government agencies.