Health Access Grows for Students in CA

Hiram Johnson SBHC Opening

Students and faculty join CA Rep. Doris Matsui in celebrating the opening of the Hiram Johnson SBHC in Sacramento in March 2015.

School-based health care is growing in California and providing more services and health care access for students.  There are now 243 school-based health centers (SBHCs) providing high-quality health care to students. Across California, more than 257,000 students attend a school that has a health center, and many more have access to other types of school health services.

This is more than double the number a decade ago. Of the 243 SBHCs, 150 offer mental health care, 66 offer dental treatment, and 124 offer youth engagement programs that keep kids engaged in school and thinking about their future.

SBHCs are so popular because they offer convenient health care for kids in a setting families already know and trust.

Students who utilize SBHCs are less likely to go to the emergency room or be hospitalized, keeping costs down. SBHCs also improve attendance, reduce dropout rates, improve school climate, and support students’ academic achievement. Schools and school districts partner with health service providers to finance SBHCs.

More Information on California’s SBHCs

There are 243 SBHCs serving 257,000 students across California. SBHCs are usually located directly on a school campus and provide primary care like any health clinic. Staff vary in size, and typically includes nurse practitioners, nurses, mental health providers, as well as part-time physicians and medical students. Services are provided at no or low cost. No one is refused service for inability to pay.

Services Offered

Service Number Percentage
Medical 209
86%
Health Education 172 71%
Mental Health
150 62%
Reproductive Health – Screening & Education
146 60%
Reproductive Health – Clinical Care 136 56%
Youth Engagement 124
51%
Dental Prevention 118
49%
Dental Treatment
66
27%

 

Sponsoring Org Types

Type of Sponsoring Organization Number Percentage
Community Clinic 131 54% 
School District 69 28% 
Local Health Department 11 5%
Hospital 10
4%
Nonprofit Organization 8
3%
Mental Health Agency 8
3%
University,  Including Medical Center 1
.4%
Tribal Government 1 .4%
Other 4 2%

 

Onsite SBHC Location Level 

School Level Number Percentage
High School 115 47%
Elementary School 62 26%
Middle School 26 11%
Other (school-linked/mobile/combined levels) 40 16%

 

 

2014 Youth Conferences Focus on Health Careers

LAUSD high school students at the Y2Y SoCal conference on March 28.

LAUSD high school students at the Y2Y SoCal conference on March 28.

More than 120 youth from Northern and Southern California attended two separate conferences in March and April that focused on educating high school students about careers in health care. All participants are active members of the youth advisory boards at their school-based health centers.

See our photos from Los Angeles and Oakland.

Youth advisory boards provide students with leadership opportunities through peer health education, school and community advocacy programs, and health care internships and jobs. We developed these one-day conferences in partnership with the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and the California Office of Statewide Health Planning & Development in order to cultivate an interest in health care careers in youth who are served by school-based health centers. Our goal is for students who benefit from school-based health care to pursue a career as a health care provider in order to better serve the needs of California’s kids.

Students speak with adults who are pursuing careers in public health.

Students speak with adults who are pursuing careers in public health.

In Los Angeles, 60 LAUSD high school students learned about health care careers and public health challenges that affect their communities, all while meeting fellow youth advisory board members from other schools. The L.A. Trust helped us organize the March 28 conference, which was hosted by The California Endowment at their beautiful downtown L.A. headquarters.

In Oakland, we brought together 66 students from high schools in Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco, and San Jose. The April 9 NorCal conference was also graciously hosted by The California Endowment at their Oakland conference center. Students participated in the following activities throughout the day:

  • A keynote address by Dr. Tomás A. Magaña, founder and Director of the FACES of the Future Coalition.
  • Panel conversations with adults who are either pursuing a career in public health or already practicing. Panelists included two physicians, a medical assistant pursuing a nursing degree, a family nurse, and two health educators.
  • An overview of mental health disorders presented by NAMI California.
  • A workshop on how to advocate for healthier school lunch choices, presented by the Youth Wellness Team at Oakland Tech High School.
  • Workshops on public speaking and applying to medical school, presented by our Youth Board.
  • A health career resource fair staffed by the Alameda County Health Pipeline Partnership.

Our 2014 conferences build on our successful 2013 events and are a continuation of our work to develop the capacity of school-based health center youth advisory boards. Are you interested in learning how you can build youth engagement at your school-based health center? Contact us to learn more.

Community Schools Gain Traction Under LCFF

From EdSource: “Efforts to create full-service community schools that focus on serving the “whole child” with a wide array of services are gaining traction under the state’s new funding formula for schools.

“Shop 55 at Oakland High School is a thriving model of the community school concept. Shop 55 – housed in a renovated former auto shop building at the campus – is now a student health and activity center. Its co-director, Susan Yee, also serves as the community school coordinator managing multiple partnerships between the campus and agencies that provide much-needed social, mental and supplementary academic support to students, both before and after school.”

Read more about school-based health centers, community schools, and California’s new education funding law here.

Learn more about California’s new school financing model – the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) – here.

Data Link SF SBHCs With Student Success

San Francisco Wellness InitiativeA new study published in the October 2013 Journal of Adolescent Health details the relationship between use of school-based health centers (SBHCs) in San Francisco and student success.

The study, conducted by ETR and the San Francisco Wellness Initiative in partnership with the University of California Berkeley and the University of Denver, compares students who participate in SBHCs and those who don’t and finds:

  1. Students who use any Wellness Services report statistically significant increases in school assets–even those who visit just one or two times.
  1. Students who visit their Wellness Center more frequently report higher assets.
  1. Students with the highest risk factors participate in services most frequently, report the highest school assets scores, and experience the strongest caring relationships with adults in the Wellness Centers.

According to ETR’s lead program evaluator and study co-author Dr. John Shields, the need for school-based services is high. “In SFUSD high schools in 2013, over a quarter of students reported symptoms of depression, and nearly one out of ten students reported attempting suicide. A significant proportion of students are also turning to alcohol and other drugs–about 12% reported binge drinking in the past month, and 30% reported smoking marijuana in their lifetime.”

According to SFUSD Superintendent Richard Carranza, “Though we’ve known that having Wellness Centers at schools makes a difference for youth, this is the strongest evidence we have to date of the positive impact our Wellness Centers have for San Francisco’s public high school students.  The study also shows we are having the greatest impact on the very students who need the most support to succeed in school.”

As one high school student put it, “Whenever I come into the Wellness Center, I feel safe and calm in an environment where I know people care about me. It’s like a house and we are all family.” Another student put it this way, “I am relieved to finally be able to have a caring adult who I can talk to honestly and someone I can rely on for help.”

CA SBHCs Grow in 2013

Students celebrate the opening of  LAUSD's Washington Prep Wellness Center. Photo by The L.A. Trust.

Students celebrate the opening of LAUSD’s Washington Prep Wellness Center. Photo by The L.A. Trust.

School-based health centers (SBHCs) are on the rise in California!  There are now 226 SBHCs providing high-quality health care to 228,000 students in our public elementary, middle, and high schools — with more in the works.

Listen to Serena Clayton speaking about California’s SBHCs on KCBS Radio: Report 1 | Report 2. Read More in California Healthline.

This marks a 13% increase over the 200 SBHCs in 2012, and double the number a decade ago. Of the 226 SBHCs, 130 offer mental health care, 42 offer dental treatment, and 60 offer youth engagement programs that keep kids connected to school and thinking about their future.

SBHCs are so popular because they offer convenient health care for kids in a setting families already know and trust.

Students who utilize SBHCs are less likely to go to the emergency room or be hospitalized, keeping costs down. SBHCs also improve attendance, reduce dropout rates, improve school climate, and support students’ academic achievement. Schools and school districts partner with health service providers to finance SBHCs.

More Facts About California’s SBHCs

There are 226 SBHCs serving 228,000 students across California. SBHCs are usually located directly on a school campus and provide primary care like any health clinic. Staff vary in size, and typically includes nurse practitioners, nurses, mental health providers, as well as part-time physicians and medical students. Services are provided at no or low cost. No one is refused service for inability to pay.

Services Offered

Service Number Percentage
Medical 192 85%
Reproductive Health – Screening and Education 138 61%
Health Education 131 58%
Mental Health 130 56%
Reproductive Health – Clinical Care 118 52%
Dental Treatment 42 19%
Dental Prevention 70 31%
Nutrition/Fitness 68 30%
Youth Engagement 60 27%

 

Sponsoring Org Types

Type of Sponsoring Organization Number Percentage
Community Clinic 117 52% “half”
School District 67 30% “a third”
Local Health Department 11 5%
Hospital 10 4%
Nonprofit Organization 8 3.5%
Mental Health Agency 7 3%
Other 3 1.3%
University,  Including Medical Center 2 .8%
Tribal Government 1 .4%

 

Onsite SBHC Location Level 

School Level Number Percentage
High School 101 45%
Elementary School 67 30%
Middle School 23 10%
Other (school-linked/mobile/combined levels) 35 15%

 

 

News Release: CA SBHCs Up 13%

Nearly 230,000 California students in grades k-12 will have access to school-based health care when they return to classes this fall, an increase of more than 25,000 students from just one year ago. This is the largest one year jump in access to school-based health centers (SBHCs) since the California School-Based Health Alliance (f0rmerly CSHC) began tracking this data in 2004.

There are now 226 school-based health centers (SBHCs) in California, up 13 percent from last August. Another 37 schools are in the process of opening new SBHCs. The clinics–which are generally located on campuses where 70 percent or more of students receive free and reduced price meals–have more than doubled in the past decade, from 108 in 2002.

SBHCs have risen in popularity because they are convenient, offering health care for kids in a setting families already know and trust. SBHCs can offer a range of services including medical, mental health, and dental care. Of the 226, 130 offer mental health services, 42 offer dental services, and 60 offer youth engagement programs that give kids unique leadership opportunities at school.

The result is that students who utilize SBHCs are less likely to go to the emergency room or be hospitalized, keeping costs down. SBHCs also improve attendance, reduce dropout rates, improve school climate, and support students’ academic achievement. Schools and school districts partner with health service providers to finance SBHCs.

“Schools already grapple with students’ health problems, so communities look to SBHCs as a solution to address these challenges head on and improve students’ lives–as well as their overall school performance,” said California School-Based Health Alliance Executive Director Serena Clayton.

The Affordable Care Act helped boost SBHCs by setting aside federal funding for construction of new clinics nationwide. California received $30 million in 2011 and 2012. There is currently a bill in Congress that would provide ongoing funding for SBHCs.

More opportunities are coming. California recently adopted changes to how schools are funded, which provides more support for school districts that educate low-income students. Many of these students would benefit from increased access to health care that districts will be in a better position to offer.

Those interested in setting up a school-based health center – including school districts, parents, health care providers, and community members – can contact the California School-Based Health Alliance to get more information on financing and partnerships here.

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Back-to-School Resources

Make sure that all children start the school year off right by ensuring that parents know how to get health coverage for their children with these resources:

1. A back-to-school checklist for parents to help kids stay healthy. This resource was developed with the 100% Campaign:

2. Helpful information on immunizations needed for back-to-school and throughout the year:

3. Information schools and child-care providers can use to help parents, teachers, and school and child-care employees learn about new health care coverage options. These materials were developed with The Children’s Partnership:

4. Information on Kaiser Permanente’s Child Health Plan, which offers coverage to children in Kaiser’s Northern California service area who are not eligible for government health coverage — such as Medi-Cal or California Children’s Services (CCS) — or health coverage that is paid for, in any part, by an employer. Clinics that support application assistance for KP Child Health should submit applications for coverage before November 22 to ensure continuous coverage through 2014 as the program transitions to become compliant with the Affordable Care Act.

Please share these resources with families as the school year begins!

  • Give to parents in your community
  • Make available at school-based health centers
  • Send to your colleagues and networks
  • Include in your next newsletter

For More Information

To learn more about how schools and SBHCs can help enroll families in insurance coverage, please visit our Outreach and Enrollment web page or contact Caitlin Chan, Project Coordinator at 510-350-3292.

New SBHCs in L.A.

New SBHC to Serve Compton Community

The new SBHC at Dominguez High School in Compton is operated in partnership with St. Johns Well Child & Family Center.

Several school-based health centers have held grand openings in the Los Angeles area this spring to showcase the accessible health care they offer to schoolkids and their families.

The new school-based health center (SBHC) at Dominguez High School in Compton is expected to serve more than 36,000 local families.

Read a full report from KPCC.

The SBHC, which is operated by St. John’s Well Child & Family Center — a federally qualified health center (FQHC) that operates five SBHCs in the area — will provide free or low-cost health care, dental care, and health insurance enrollment to students at Dominguez and to families in the area.

St. John’s Well Child & Family Center also is providing care at the new SBHC at Washington Preparatory High School in South Los Angeles. The clinic will offer health education and assistance with getting enrolled in a health insurance plan, in addition to other health services.

Read why St. John’s Well Child & Family Center is supporting SBHCs.

Fremont HS SBHC Community Garden

The new SBHC at Fremont High School features a community garden. Photo by Southside Coalition of Community Health Centers.

At Fremont High School, the UMMA Community Clinic announced a new SBHC that boasts a community garden in partnership with the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust. UMMA says the garden is part of a focus on nutrition at Fremont because, “among the student body of 4,600 pupils, 1 in 3 students is obese; 1 in 30 will develop Type 2 diabetes before graduation, and nearly 1 in 7 girls will contract a sexually transmitted disease before the age of 20.”

Read more about Fremont High School’s SBHC.

Also in South L.A., the Watts Healthcare Corporation opened a new SBHC at Locke High School. Watts Health recently opened a clinic at Jordan High School in L.A.

In addition to primary medical services, the SBHC at Locke will provide oral health care at its dentistry clinic, treating cavities and providing teeth cleanings and evaluations for conditions like oral cancer and restorative care.

The Jordan High School SBHC  has five exam rooms and will offer medical care, mental health care, family planning and immunizations, among other services.

Learn more about the SBHCs at Locke and Jordan

Mark Ridley-Thomas Wellness Center

The Mark Ridley-Thomas Wellness Center at Manual Arts High School in South L.A. Photo from the office of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Toward the end of the school year the latest SBHC opened at Manual Arts High School in South L.A. The Mark Ridley-Thomas Wellness Center, named in honor of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors Chairman and Manual Arts alum, is operated by St. John’s Well Child & Family Center and will offer primary care, mental health care, and support services (health insurance enrollment, health education) to students and the local community.

Read more about the Mark Ridley-Thomas Wellness Center. Watch a video about the SBHC. See a slideshow of photos from the opening.

Read about the new SBHC’s in L.A. at HealthyCal.org.

Educating Youth About Health Insurance

PHIRE Team at George Washington High School in San Francisco

Students at George Washington High School in San Francisco create an informational video about health insurance for other students.

School-based health centers throughout California are part of the effort to carry out community education on and enrollment in the new health insurance exchanges mandated by the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

The California School-Based Health Alliance (formerly CSHC) is one of 48 lead organizations that received a total of $37 million this week from Covered California, the state’s health insurance exchange board.

The goal of the Covered California grant program is to increase awareness of affordable health coverage options available through the California Health Benefits Exchange, eliminate perceived barriers to coverage, and motivate Californians to enroll in health coverage.

Read about the Covered California grants here.

Through its $377,000 grant, our organization will partner with a network of 12 school-based health centers and other school programs to educate young people about the importance and accessibility of health insurance plans. The network will reach young people and their families in counties across the state, including in the Bay Area, Los Angeles County, the Central Valley, and rural areas of Northern California.

Schools are a strategic venue for conducting education about new health insurance options because students and families trust the school to provide unbiased information. Hundreds of students and families rely on schools to provide them with critical information that supports community well-being.

The program we will oversee as part of the Covered California grant builds on its successful Peer Health Insurance Rights and Education (PHIRE) program that piloted in 2012 at high schools in San Francisco and San Jose. The initial program trained 31 students who in turn educated more than 2,500 members of their communities. Listen to a CBS Radio report on our outreach efforts.

SBHCs Serve More Than Students

Manual Arts High School Wellness Center in L.A.

At the Manual Arts High School Wellness Center in Los Angeles, pediatric nurse practitioner Jennie Lien gives 15-month-old Andrew Baptist a medical examination. Andrew’s great-grandmother, Yvonne Lee (right) says Andrew’s entire family relies on the center for medical care.(Photo/Chris Richard)

The new school-based health centers (SBHCs) opening in Los Angeles are attracting notice for serving members of the wider community. KQED’s The California Report broadcast a story looking at this recent trend and why it is gaining in popularity. Click here or below to listen to the report.