2019 Conference Recap

On May 9th and 10th, more than 500 educators, providers, advocates and other leaders joined us for the 2019 California School-Based Health Conference in Redondo Beach. It was a remarkable two days, and I was delighted and inspired to see so many of you there! We’re proud of the work you are doing with young people and the ongoing growth in school-based and school-linked health centers. And we are honored to play a role in bringing this field together to share best practices, reignite our passion for this work, and care for ourselves and each other.

On day 1, over 150 attendees joined us for the pre-conference event Bringing the Clinic to You, which included a panel discussion with experts from mobile school-based health sharing insights about operating mobile clinics for students. After the panel presentation, attendees got a hands-on tour of mobile clinics from T.H.E. Clinic, COACH for Kids, Watts Health, CT Coachworks and the mobile van built by Odulair for the USC School of Dentistry—the largest mobile medical van in the US! This tour got rave reviews.

At our welcome reception, there was time to network, celebrate our field, and learn from poster presentations highlighting exciting research and leading innovations to serve youth and their communities.

On day 2, everyone in attendance was rapt with attention and emotion listening to keynote speaker Tia Martinez shed light on the school-to-prison pipeline. Her presentation tied together history, data, and personal stories to illuminate the polices, economic shifts, and school practices that are failing our boys and young men of color. Everyone wanted more and started the morning inspired in our collective action to build a school-to-wellness pipeline!

Workshops both days addressed everything from SBHC start-up to oral health, trauma and self-care, cannabis use and youth empowerment. We’ve heard from many of you that sessions on vaping, immigration, HIPAA/FERPA, trauma-informed care, and how to create healing school environments were especially salient.

Finally, on Saturday, CSHA, The LA Trust, and our Youth Boards hosted an incredible Y2Y Conference with 150 youth from LAUSD and San Francisco. Students learned from one another and some adult allies, shared their local efforts and projects, and strategized to change the world!

Thanks to our sponsors, exhibitors and presenters, and to The Los Angeles Trust for Children’s Health for co-hosting this year’s conference and providing staff support. And thanks to all of you!

If you aren’t already, please become a member of CSHA. We can’t continue to do this work successfully without you at every step of the way.

Best wishes from all of us for a healthy and safe summer!

In solidarity,

Tracy & the team at CSHA

Three Resources for Student Health & Success

The California School-Based Health Alliance aims to improve the health and academic success of children and youth by advancing health services in schools. Learn more about our mission and why putting health care in schools makes sense.

The three resources below are must-haves for your school health toolbox. Contact us with questions about starting a school-based health center and how to support student academic success! And don’t miss our annual California School-Based Health Conference—a unique opportunity to learn about school-based health across the state. Register today!

  1. From Vision to Reality: How to Build a School Health Center from the Ground Up*
    Your roadmap from A to Z for starting a school-based health center. Learn more about starting a school-based health center in your district.
  2. Public Funding for School Mental Health Program
    Make public funding work for you and maximize your return on investment in mental health. Learn more about funding mental health programs.
  3. HIPAA or FERPA? A Primer on School Health Information Sharing
    Navigate complex privacy needs with confidence and stay in compliance with the law. Learn more about patient consent and confidentiality.

*Member-only resource. Join today as an individual or organization and get access to this toolkit and other member-only benefits, including an exclusive discount to our annual California School-Based Health Conference.

About Our New Name

Our New LogoWe became the California School-Based Health Alliance in January 2014.  Formerly known as the California School Health Centers Association (CSHC), we rebranded as part of a national strategy to lift the visibility of school-based health care.

What Is New & Why?

We have changed our name in partnership with the national School-Based Health Alliance as part of a national strategy to lift the visibility of school-based health care. The new brand facilitates:

  • Closer alignment with our national partner — the School-Based Health Alliance – to maximize shared campaigns, messaging, and national advocacy efforts.
  • A fresh clean look to reflect our expanded vision and to build visibility at the intersection of health and education.
  • An expanded vision that recognizes there are a variety of ways to bring health care to schools:
    • School-based health centers are still the ideal model for care delivery.
    • Every school has students with health needs, and for some it may be more feasible to expand mental health programs, offer dental screenings, or hold immunization clinics.
    • We are starting this support by expanding our focus on mental health programs.

What Is the Same?

Our mission, membership, programs, leadership, location, URL, and contact information are all unchanged.

What Does the California School-Based Health Alliance Do?

We are the statewide nonprofit organization helping to put more health services in schools by:

  • Advocating for public policies that make school health services an integral part of the health care and education systems.
  • Helping schools and communities start and operate school-based health programs.
  • Ensuring high-quality school health services through conferences, trainings, and technical assistance.
  • Raising the visibility of school-based health care with policymakers, educators, community leaders, parents, and students in order to generate interest and support.

Why Does This Matter?

Too many kids don’t have access to health care and face critical challenges:

  • 50% of teens don’t see a doctor regularly – even when they have insurance.
  • 66% of kids with mental health needs do not get treatment.
  • 20% are chronically absent, with low-income students far more likely to miss school.
  • 18% drop out of high school, with startling disparities by race, ethnicity, and gender.

School-based health helps kids stay in class and improves kids’ health.

What Can You Do?

Our strength is in our partnerships with educators, health care providers, and child advocates.

  • Tell your network about our new name and our continued commitment to bring health care to kids.
  • Become a member to support our vision of accessible health care for all kids in California.
  • Join us on Twitter and Facebook.

Welcome to CA’s Newest SBHCs

San Antonio High School's New SBHC

Kyla Ehrenreich, PA/MPH, center, and her team are ready to provide quality health care to San Antonio High School’s students.

Kids across the state are getting increased access to quality health care with the opening of several new school-based health centers (SBHCs) this year.

SBHCs are usually located directly on a school campus and provide primary care like any health clinic. They are typically staffed by 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.

There are 231 SBHCs across California that provide elementary, middle, and high school students with easy access to health care. Many SBHCs also offer dental care, mental health care, leadership programs, after-school programs, and even have gardens for growing fresh produce.

Here you can see what is happening at California’s SBHCs. Check out photos, video, testimonials, and more. Send us your news, photos, and video if your school has an SBHC.

If you would like to start an SBHC at your school please see our tools and resources that can help you get started.

School-Based Health Centers Open Fall 2013:

  • Kerman Unified School District’s Community Health Center in Fresno County
    (in partnership with Valley Health Team).
  • Sierra Vista Children’s Clinic in Fresno County.
  • San Antonio High School Clinic in Sonoma County (in partnership with Petaluma Health Center). Read more about San Antonio in The Press Democrat.
  • De Anza High School Health Center in Costa Contra County, which has reopened in a new dedicated space as part of a school reconstruction.

Photos: New School-Based Health Centers in California

Sierra Vista Children's Clinic

Click to view photos of the Sierra Vista Children’s Clinic opening.

De Anza High School Health Center in Richmond

Click to view photos of the De Anza High School Health Center opening.

San Antonio High School Health Center opening in Petaluma.

Click to view photos of the San Antonio High School Health Center opening.

Konocti Wellness Center at Lower Lake High School.

Click to view photos of the Konocti Wellness Center opening.

Kerman Unified School Health Center

Click to view photos of the Kerman Unified School District Community Health Center.

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%