School-based health centers (SBHCs) impact students and families in profound ways. They can get immediate help on campus for acute and chronic conditions as well as preventative care. The result: kids stay in school and teachers focus on what they do best, teach. (Read more about why School-based Health Centers are a Great Idea).
Imagine the Possibilities
We are working toward the day in which all students have access to a school-based health center.
“I can’t think of a better way to deliver primary care and preventive care to not only students but their families than through school-based clinics.” – U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
In 2000, California had 108 school health centers; today, there are 200 with about 45 in the works. In the last year, 13,500 children gained access to health care in their school through the expansion of SBHCs.
The number of SBHCs continues to grow despite budget cuts and the recession because school districts and communities understand that investing in healthy kids supports increased opportunities for successful students.
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.
School-based health centers are effective because they put health care where the kids are. They:
- offer quality services in a safe, familiar, and accessible location
- improve academic performance
- support families
- expand access to health care without increasing costs
Research has shown, and teachers and educators intuitively know, that healthier children are better students because they are able to focus in class and are not distracted by hunger, pain, stress, or a chronic illness.
Read about Nathan, Kenny and Brittany – three students whose lives have been transformed by their SBHCs.