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Students Reflect on SMART Congressional Symposium

Hispanic Heritage Foundation

Hispanic Heritage Foundation

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF), CVS Health and Ginn Consulting hosted the SMART™ Congressional Symposium at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center- Rotunda in Washington, DC last week!

Members of Congress, health care professionals, educators, and corporate leaders joined to discuss the SMART™ Student Health and Wellness model that has revolutionized school-based health care for public school students. A few students were also invited to attend and learn more about the SMART™ model.

Former 2016 National Youth Awardee, Debora Gonzalez attended the SMART™ Symposium. “It was such a tremendous honor to have been part of the SMART™ Symposium. I look forward to supporting the SMART™ initiative as it expands all over our nation. Honored to be part of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and CVS Health families. Me inspiran!”

Juan Pablo Sanchez, student at the University of South Florida was also in attendance. “Attending the  SMART™ Congressional Symposium was such a rewarding experience. The SMART™ model has made a universal impact, and it is so impressive to see it implemented across the country. It is changing the lives of many students, encompassing both mental and physical health, and it is breaking the cycle of poverty.”

The SMART™ Symposium shared success stories from sites in urban Chicago, rural Alabama, and the greater Washington, DC area. Dr. Liza Cariaga-Lo, Vice President, Brown University presented an evaluation white paper, and facilitated discussions with stakeholders on how to expand SMART™ to the communities they serve.

“I was very inspired after leaving the SMART™ Congressional Symposium. I want to help people and I want to do it through public health,” said Erika Fernandez, recent graduate of the University of Virginia.

She continued to say, “The SMART™ model gives students access to resources, and I really enjoyed hearing Dr. Liza Cariaga- Lo, Vice President for Academic Development, Diversity, and Evaluation at Brown University speak on the SMART™ model. It was incredible to hear the results of the SMART™ model, for example a principal from a Chicago school told us that attendance increased from 80-90%.”

SMART™ is a school health solution focused on student academic achievement through active access in the delivery of preventive and integrative physical and behavioral health with the goal of ensuring the wellness of every student in an educational setting.

To learn more about the SMART™ Congressional Symposium go here!

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