School district has model partnership with medical center

Our school district goes out of its way to develop meaningful and impactful partnerships with all kinds of groups in our valley. We understand that we can't solve all of our community's problems on our own. That's why we've reached out to community organizations to try to develop systems of support for all of our students.

One model partnership we are very proud of is the collaboration and support we get from Vail Valley Medical Center. On top of providing quality medical care, VVMC is also very good to our kids and schools.

One major area where VVMC supports our students is through medical coverage for our athletes. Annually, VVMC provides $188,000 in support and medical care, including two certified athletic trainers who are available to our athletes.

VVMC also supports a program called ThinkFirst, which teaches students about preventable injuries. Sure, kids will be kids, but ThinkFirst is a proven program designed to help students think through the consequences of their actions before leaping.

VVMC also hosts field trips from schools to the hospital and research labs on a regular basis. Students get to see the medical profession in action, as well as see some of the cutting-edge research VVMC is doing around sports medicine and stem-cell work. These tours give our students an understanding of what a career in medicine might look like and what kinds of jobs might be available for their futures.

VVMC sponsors a program aimed at reducing skin cancer and premature aging through its Sun Safety program. This program introduces elementary school children to the dangers of overexposure to sun and provides sunscreen free to the students and their families.

VVMC is also a big supporter of our community education foundation, the Education Foundation of Eagle County. By supporting the foundation and events such as Project Funway and Wild West Day, VVMC provides classroom and instructional supports that go directly to students.

Looking ahead, we're excited about working with VVMC to also add career/technical pathways for our students into the medical profession. Through experience-based learning opportunities such as apprenticeships and internships, as well as high school credit courses in the medical field, our partnership with VVMC can help us provide a great on-ramp to a career in the medical field.

It really does "take a village" to raise a child, and we're proud of our partnership with VVMC as a model example of how the community school system and the community health care system can work together for the betterment of kids in Eagle County.