Identifying and Addressing Barriers to Classroom Success, Creating Optimal Conditions for Learning

SMART (School Health Model for Academics Reaching All and Transforming Lives) is an educational solution that focuses on breaking the cycle of poverty and improving the trajectory of lives by supporting academic achievement through onsite SMART Centers. Our centers identify and address the physical, behavioral, social, and emotional barriers to classroom success through the proactive delivery of on-site integrative health services, in real time.

The SMART Model delivers a comprehensive, system-wide strategy for education-driven health services. The model is built on the numerous, well-documented interconnections between the “Whole Child” factors of physical and behavioral health, wellness, social and emotional learning, and educational attainment.

The SMART approach not only increases the health, success, and overall well-being of individuals; it reaches families and school staff, positively impacting entire communities.

Origins of SMART: Analyzing the Health Center Challenge

  • Ginn Group Collaborative had been evaluating school-based health centers’ lack of sustainability and utilization. Key factors that were identified as undermining their success were reactiveness, a failure to manage costs, siloed operations, and the misallocation of resources away from activities that deliver key outcomes.
  • Poor health outcomes were adversely affecting academic achievement and graduation rates, which in turn lowered competency rates and the ability to meaningfully participate in future workforce opportunities.
    GGC’s innovative solutions quickly increased productivity, increased billing revenue, and broadened outcomes to more stakeholders.
  • In 2012, CVS Health brought their support for this landmark work as a Legacy Sponsor with a long-term commitment to SMART as an innovation in health care delivery that meets unmet needs, closes health equity gaps, and improves outcomes at lower costs for individuals on their path to improved socioeconomic status.

The Science of SMART

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Salutes SMART Teams

SMART Clinics

What makes SMART Student Health and Wellness Centers Unique?

  • Academic Purpose
  • Collaborative Approach
  • Interdisciplinary Viewpoint
  • Focus on Wellness of All Students
  • Prevention-Based and Proactive
  • Outcomes-Oriented
  • Entrepreneurial Culture
  • Data-Driven
  • Permanent Asset Managed by Local Stakeholders


If communities are looking for innovative and effective school health solutions, they should look no further than Melanie Ginn and the SMART Student Health model that was developed and implemented to deliver strong and sustained health and educational outcomes that have a far-reaching impact on individual students and their families, schools, and communities. –  Dr. Liza Cariaga-Lo, Founder & CEO, CLCO Group, Former Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion, Brown University, Providence, R.I.

When noting the evolution of the public school system and its hallmark features, I can see the day when SMART Student Health and Wellness Centers are as normative within public education as cafeterias—one in every school. It is paramount that students in the classroom be physically and mentally healthy, providing each the best opportunity to participate and learn. SMART identifies and reduces the barriers to student success and creates/improves the conditions that maximize the capacity for educators to teach.Dr. Peter Hlebowitsh, Dean of the College of Education, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

As I reflect on the turmoil I encountered while working to turn around a failing school, I now realize that having the SMART clinic was the primary differentiator for us in that process. With SMART, my school and my students are offered a much more sustained impact, not a triage. SMART casts a deeper and wider net that not only meets immediate needs, but also results in outcomes that will stretch beyond the years of high school. – Chad Adams, Principal, Sullivan High School, Chicago

SMART Clinic Locations