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

Welcoming Tracy Macdonald Mendez, Executive Director of CSHA

We are excited to announce that Tracy Macdonald Mendez, MPH, MPP will be the new Executive Director of the California School-Based Health Alliance (CSHA) starting November 26, 2018.

Tracy has a long, rich history of working in school-based health centers (SBHCs) dating back to 1996. With over 25 years of public health experience, she has held numerous managerial and leadership positions in SBHCs, adolescent health, community health centers, health policy, and the health care safety net. She spent over 16 years as an operations manager and director at La Clínica de La Raza, the Bay Area’s largest federally-qualified health center (FQHC) and one of the state’s leaders in providing school-based health care.

With her demonstrated commitment to school health and her deep knowledge of SBHC and FQHC operations and financing, Tracy is well positioned to lead CSHA’s mission to put health care in schools. She cares deeply about the experience of on-the-ground providers and the role CSHA plays in supporting them and the growing school-based health care movement.

Tracy’s vision for expanding school-based health care is driven by her dedication to health equity and social justice. Her leadership and focus on reducing health and education disparities will help CSHA serve the field and support children and youth across the state, particularly those living in underserved areas of California where access to care is needed most.

We invite you to join us in welcoming Tracy as the new Executive Director of the California School-Based Health Alliance. We’d also like to thank Amy Ranger, Acting Executive Director, for her dedication and interim leadership, who will continue at CSHA as Director of Programs. We look forward to continued growth and support for our school-based health partners across the state.

Sincerely,

Kim Uyeda, MD, MPH
Chair, Board of Directors

Celebrating Success and Exciting Updates: Here’s What’s New at CSHA

Dear Affiliates, Members, Partners, Funders, and CSHA Community:

We are excited to share an update with you about CSHA’s search for a new executive director and the structure of our organization during this transition period. We have contracted with an executive search firm and have posted our formal job announcement online at CSHA’s website. Our hope is to secure a new executive director by early 2018.

CSHA’s Leadership Team is currently overseeing day-to-day management of the organization during this transition period, with input and guidance from the staff and Board. Amy Manta-Ranger, Director of Programs, has graciously accepted the role of Acting Executive Director and is supported by other members of the leadership team, including Lisa Eisenberg, Policy Director; Dawn Valadez, Development Director; and Maria Salzano, Director of Operations. Additional consultation support is provided by Serena Clayton, former CSHA Executive Director, and Kristin Andersen, former CSHA Associate Director.
 
With the support and combined experience of current and former staff, Board members, and an executive search firm, we are well-positioned to quickly identify and hire a new executive director. Despite this transition, our work continues, and our commitment to strengthen the school-based health care movement in California is unwavering.

We’re also excited to share the news that the number of SBHCs in California has grown to 257, and we are able to provide more technical assistance to the field than ever before! We are working with partners to expand region-specific training through convenings in the Central Valley and Los Angeles County. Register today for the LA County School Health Centers Conference on October 30!

Work is underway to develop new sustainability toolkits for the field to help address the need for long-term SBHC funding. We are exploring new ways to integrate the best practices in substance use prevention and trauma-informed approaches across the state. Through our Fight Fund project, funded by The California Endowment, we are providing training and technical assistance to SBHCs so they can better provide information about schools and SBHCs as sanctuary sites for undocumented students and families.
 
Finally, we are excited to share that planning for the 2018 California School-Based Health Conference is underway. We’re already getting amazing workshop proposals, and we anticipate record attendance of 500 providers, educators, and advocates to join us in Sacramento on May 17-18, 2018Submit your workshop proposal today!
 
Thank you for your commitment to put healthcare where kids are—in schools!  We’d love to hear from you if you have any questions or suggestions. 

On behalf of the staff and Board, thank you,

Amy-signature

Amy Manta-Ranger
Acting Executive Director

P.S. Become a member or renew your membership today to secure your exclusive members-only early bird registration rate for our 2018 California School-Based Health Conference in Sacramento on May 17-18, 2018.

New Opportunities for CSHA Leadership

The Board and staff of the California School-Based Health Alliance (CSHA) are proud of the work we have done in the past year to grow the school-based health care movement across the state. In a time of great uncertainty about health care, the Alliance has worked to secure its place as a leader in the field. We will continue to pursue opportunities to strengthen the Alliance and deepen our commitment to the health and success of California’s children.

Today we announce that Judy Appel, Executive Director, has resigned to pursue an unexpected opportunity to run for California State Assembly (District 15). The recent announcement by Assemblymember Tony Thurmond to run for California State Superintendent of Public Instruction created the chance for Judy to continue her service to her community in a new capacity: the State Assembly. Judy remains committed to the mission of CSHA, and the Board and staff applaud her dedication to public service.

We recognize the need for a full-time, permanent executive director to lead CSHA and build on the momentum and success of the school-based health care movement. As we initiate a nationwide search for a new executive director, the Board and staff are developing an interim plan that will ensure the continued, smooth operation of the Alliance.

CSHA continues to play a pivotal role in putting health care where kids are—in schools. The commitment of our members, funders, and the communities we serve continues to be the bedrock that allows us to make exciting and important changes that drive the school-based health care movement forward and improve the health and success of children across California.

Fresno OKs Six New SBHCs

The Fresno Unified School District Board of Supervisors on February 8, 2017, approved six new school-based health centers (SBHCs) to benefit nearly 7,000 students.

Fresno Unified School DistrictStudents “benefit from having quality health care, which keeps them in school longer, makes them more successful, and immediately impacts their learning,” Acting Fresno Unified Superintendent Bob Nelson said at a press event announcing the plans to build the new SBHCs.

Fresno opened its first school-based health center at Gaston Middle School in 2014. Kaiser Permanente Northern California Community Benefit provided generous support to facilitate the planning of the new SBHCs in partnership with Fresno Unified. The six new sites will be operated in partnership with Clinica Sierra Vista and Valley Children’s Healthcare and are planned for Addams and Bakman elementary schools; Tehipite and Sequoia middle schools; and Duncan Polytechnic and Sunnyside high schools. 

Fresno Unified School DistrictCalifornia School-Based Health Alliance Project Director Salina Mendoza provided Fresno Unified with background on the values of school-based health care, and partnered with Kaiser Permanente, Clinica Sierra Vista, and Valley Children’s Healthcare on planning the new sites.

Valley Children’s Healthcare CEO Todd Suntrapak outlined the fiscal and public health benefits of putting health care directly into Fresno’s schools:

Fresno Unified School District“Last year, we took care of 37,599 kids that were located within three miles of each one of these six clinics. We believe in partnering with Clinica Sierra Vista and Fresno Unified, we won’t just be committed to addressing episodic acute health care needs of kids, but we will be able to … improve and sustain the health and wellbeing of kids.”

See more in a video of the press event and on the Fresno Bee website.

School Health Care Remains Popular in CA

School-based health care is growing in California and providing more services and health care access for students.  There are now 246 school-based health centers (SBHCs) providing high-quality health care to students. Across California, more than 265,000 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 246 SBHCs, 159 offer mental health care, 69 offer dental treatment, and 129 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 246 SBHCs serving more than 265,000 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 213
86%
Health Education 175 71%
Mental Health
159 64%
Reproductive Health – Screening & Education
150 60%
Reproductive Health – Clinical Care 140 56%
Youth Engagement 129 52%
Dental Prevention 123
50%
Dental Treatment
69
28%

 

Sponsoring Org Types

Type of Sponsoring Organization Number Percentage
Community Clinic 137 57%
School District 65 27%
Local Health Department 11 5%
Hospital 9 4%
Nonprofit Organization 7 2%
Mental Health Agency 8 3%
Tribal Government 1 .5%
Other 4 1.5%

 

Onsite SBHC Location Level 

School Level Number Percentage
High School  120  49%
Elementary School  60  24%
Middle School  27  11%
Other (school-linked/mobile/combined levels)  39  16%

 

 

State to Change School Medi-Cal Billing Program

We have very exciting news to share about the “free care rule” reversal that reopens a critical avenue of reimbursement for Local Education Agency (LEA) school health providers.

Learn More About the Free Care Rule

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) announced on August 29 that changes to the provider manual for the LEA Billing Option Program will reflect the most recent policy direction from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding “free care.” The draft changes to the manual are available for review and should be officially published later in September.

This exciting anticipated change to the LEA Billing Option program ensures that Medi-Cal may reimburse LEA providers for services provided to Medi-Cal eligible students, even if they are not in special education.

We hope that everyone providing health services in schools will learn about this opportunity to draw down more revenue to create robust school health systems that include both school districts and community providers.

You can learn more about the “free care” policy, the LEA Billing Option program, and CMS’s policy change on our Free Care Rule page. We have been working closely with DHCS, LEAs, the California School Nurses Organization, and other advocates to make sure that our state makes changes to the LEA program to strengthen school-based health care.

Judy Appel Named Executive Director

Judy AppelThe California School-Based Health Alliance Board of Directors has named Judy Appel as the new executive director to lead our organization.

Judy starts on September 19 and is excited to join us at a moment of incredible opportunity to build more support for school-based health care. Our Board of Directors chose Judy after a comprehensive search process because of her strong experience leading a regional nonprofit to statewide and national prominence.

Judy has served since 2005 as the executive director of Our Family Coalition, which is based in the Bay Area and advances equity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) families with children through support, education, and advocacy.

She has led policy victories for Our Family Coalition, including the Welcoming and Inclusive Schools Program that guides schools to create more welcoming environments for LGBTQ families, and LGBTQ inclusion in the new history-social science curriculum framework recently adopted by the State Board of Education. She is also involved in statewide policy efforts on ending the school-to-prison pipeline.

Judy serves on the Board of Education for the Berkeley Unified School District, where she oversees a complex budget of $135 million; guides policy direction for instruction and programs; supports physical and mental health services for students; and leads Board efforts to implement restorative justice, social emotional learning, and trauma-informed practices at school sites.

In addition, she is involved with numerous initiatives aimed at improving education and health equity for all students, including the Restorative Practices Advisory Committee, the Berkeley Unified 2020 Vision Leadership Team, and the Fix School Discipline Policy Coalition.

We are pleased to welcome Judy as we begin a new phase of growth for the California School-Based Health Alliance and school-based health care in California!

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%

 

 

AG’s Report Raises Alarm on Poor Elementary School Attendance

Attorney General Kamala Harris raises awareness about poor elementary school attendance in California and calls for action.

Attorney General Truancy Report #EveryKidCountsWhen students are chronically absent from elementary school, they fall behind academically, they are less likely to graduate from high school, and they are more likely to be unemployed and on public assistance. Putting kids on a path to success requires attention to student attendance, particularly in the early years. Research shows that early school attendance is a critical building block to a child’s success.

Read more about the causes of chronic absence.

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has made reducing elementary school truancy and chronic absence a priority. As part of this effort, the Attorney General released an annual report, In School + On Track, to disseminate effective practices for reducing student absences, to track changes in statewide attendance rates, to raise awareness about the critical importance of elementary school attendance, and to call others to action.

The 2015 report includes new and updated data on the still alarming rates of elementary school truancy and chronic absence across the state.

  • More than 1 in 5 elementary school students in California are truant based on data from the California Department of Education.
  • An estimate of 8% of elementary school students in California are chronically absent. That means over 230,000 of our youngest students are already at risk of falling behind in school.
  • Data also shows that there are disproportionately high rates of absenteeism and suspensions for students of color, low-income, homeless, foster youth and special education students.

There is also a positive trend across California: increased attention and more concerted efforts to improve elementary school attendance. The 2015 report highlights some of the districts and counties engaged in this important work.

The California School-Based Health Alliance applauds the Attorney General for continuing to draw attention to the issue of chronic absence in California. We know SBHCs make a huge difference at the schools they serve in addressing the underlying health issues that may impact attendance. Check out some of the ways that SBHCs are making a difference.

“School-based health providers across the state have firsthand experience with both the causes and consequences of chronic absence. Economic inequities prevent many children from getting the health, mental health, and dental care they need, which leads to untreated health problems that keep kids out of class. School-based health centers are an important part of a comprehensive solution to improving attendance, advancing equity, and closing the achievement gap.” 
– Serena Clayton, Ph.D., Executive Director, the California School-Based Health Alliance