Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017
Charles E. Basch, a pioneer in studies addressing the link between health and student learning, is the 2017 recipient of the William A. Howe Award, the highest honor conferred by the American School Health Association (ASHA).
Basch, TC’s Richard March Hoe Professor of Health & Education, received the award this month at ASHA’s annual conference, held this year in St. Louis.
“We are seeing increasing recognition from policymakers about the critical role health plays in supporting academic achievement,” Howell Wechsler, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, wrote in the nominating letter shared with conference participants. “Dr. Charles E. Basch has done more than anyone else to make this possible. His work has planted seeds that will sprout in defense of school health programs for many years to come.”
Basch’s research over three-plus decades on the TC faculty has drawn attention to the impact that asthma, teen pregnancy, aggression, violence, breakfast habits, inattention, hyperactivity and other factors can have on learning, particularly among low-income and minority students.
The Journal of School Health (JOSH) credited Basch’s 2010 article, Healthier Students are Better Learners: A Missing Link in School Reforms to Close the Achievement Gap with pointing to “coordinated approach” strategies to address health-related learning disparities.
In a subsequent report commissioned by JOSH, Basch armed school health professionals with a primer to make the case against district- and building level funding cuts to health programs.
His work has received additional recognition and support from the National Institutes of Health, National Academy of Sciences, National Education Association, the Education Commission of the States and the Obama administration.
”No individual in a very long time has done as much as Dr. Basch to bring national attention to the health needs of school-age children and youth,” wrote Wechsler (Ed.D. '95) a 2012-2013 TC Tisch Lecturer.
The Howe Award celebrates contributions to the school health field, including the development of programs, theories and research that “enhance the health of school-age children and youth” and “a life-long career commitment of inspiring others in transforming schools to a place where students learn and thrive.”
The award is named for the Buffalo physician who in 1927 helped found and then served as the first President of the American School Health Association.