LVHN Acquires Weller Health Education Center
Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) has acquired the Weller Health Education Center (Weller Center). LVHN’s acquisition follows a formal RFP process initiated by the Center in 2015 to locate a potential partner with the depth and breadth of resources to sustain, expand and improve upon Weller’s intellectual property.
Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital was the unanimous choice of the Weller Center’s Board of Directors, Foundation and staff. The new program will be known as Weller Health Education at Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital.
The new acquisition will enhance Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital’s existing school-based health services and outreach programs by providing more resources and accessibility to additional schools, parents and educators. Health education will be available for all grade levels (elementary, middle and high school) including parent/teacher programs.
"Partnering with the Weller Center will allow the Lehigh Valley Children's Hospital to expand its ability to help communities make the children of this region as healthy as they can be,” says Nathan Hagstrom, MD, MHCM, Chair, Department of Pediatrics at LVHN. “It's a perfect fit with our current pediatric population health and primary care programs and services."
Subject matter is centered on prevention in the areas of drug and alcohol abuse, mental health (including stress, depression and suicide), healthy relationships character education, growth and development, nutrition and fitness, and personal hygiene.
The Weller Center has been providing preventive, science-based health education programs for students in grades K-12 for more than 32 years. Weller takes pride in staying ahead of emerging health trends to create new programs that target the most pertinent health risks facing kids today including depression, prescription drug and heroin use, healthy relationships and building resilience and stress management skills. All programs are presented by professional health educators who are experts at connecting with young people and translating even the most complex information into easy to understand concepts. Faculty and parent programs are also available.
The Weller Center’s programs are rigorously evaluated and outcomes based. Students take part in pre- and post-program tests measuring knowledge gain and positive shifts in attitude using an Audience Response System. Following program delivery, participating schools and funders receive impact reports detailing program outcomes.
The Weller Center partners with hundreds of schools each year to change the behaviors of young people and help them develop life-long healthy habits which will prevent chronic disease, reduce violence and improve the overall health, safety and well-being of children and families in our communities.
The Center is supported in its mission through an endowment held by a separate trust, known as the Weller Trust. The Weller Trust will remain in existence and make distributions from its endowment to LVHN at the same levels it has historically. Endowment distributions will be used to support the Weller Center operations including program development, delivery and evaluation.