National Task Force Recommends SBHCs for Equity

West Oakland Middle School Health ClinicThe national Community Preventive Services Task Force has recommended school-based health centers in low-income communities as an effective service to improve educational outcomes including school performance, grade promotion, and high school completion.

Public Statement | Detailed Finding

School-based health centers are also recommended because they provide low-income and minority students with health care and health education that gives them a chance to stay in school and perform better academically, which can lift whole communities.

In a statement accompanying the recommendation, the Task Force said:

“Children from low-income and racial and ethnic minority populations commonly experience worse health, are less likely to have a usual place of health care, and miss more days of school because of illness than do children from the less economically and socially disadvantaged populations.

“Addressing these obstacles can be critical to their education and long term health.”

The Task Force recommendation is based on a review of 46 studies on school-based health centers and their impact on health and education.

Education outcomes include:

  • School performance
  • Grade promotion
  • High school completion

Health outcomes include:

  • Delivery of vaccinations
  • Other recommended preventive services
  • Asthma morbidity
  • Emergency department and hospital admission
  • Contraceptive use among females
  • Prenatal care and birth weight
  • Other health risks

The Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) is an independent, nonfederal, unpaid panel of public health and prevention experts that provides evidence-based findings and recommendations about community preventive services, programs, and policies to improve health. Task Force members are appointed by the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

California Embraces ‘Kick Butts’ Day

Kids in California stood up to Big Tobacco on March 18 as they joined thousands of young people nationwide for the 20th annual Kick Butts Day. More than 1,000 events were planned nationwide for this day of youth activism, sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

See how we are making the next generation of Californians tobacco-free.

On Kick Butts Day, kids encourage their peers to stay tobacco-free, demand that tobacco companies stop marketing deadly, addictive products to them and encourage elected officials to do more to reduce youth tobacco use.

This year, Kick Butts Day focused attention on how the tobacco industry still spends huge sums on marketing and is adopting new strategies to reach young customers. Nationwide, tobacco companies spend $8.8 billion a year – one million dollars every hour – to market tobacco products. In California, tobacco companies spend $583.4 million annually on marketing efforts. The industry’s tactics that entice kids include:

  • Splashy ads in magazines with large youth readership, such as Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine and Rolling Stone.
  • Widespread advertising and price discounts in stores, which make tobacco products appealing and affordable to kids.
  • New, sweet-flavored tobacco products such as small cigars and electronic cigarettes. The latest surveys show that youth use of e-cigarettes has skyrocketed.

In addition to organizing events, kids stood up to the tobacco industry on social media through the #NotAReplacement selfie campaign. The tobacco industry’s own documents reveal that they have long targeted kids as “replacement smokers” for the more than 480,000 people their products kill each year in the United States. Kids took selfies to say they’re not a replacement and shared the photos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with the #NotAReplacement hashtag. (view the #NotAReplacement selfie gallery)

Embedded image permalink“On Kick Butts Day, kids stand up and reject Big Tobacco’s manipulative marketing,” said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “We can make the next generation tobacco-free and end the tobacco epidemic for good. Elected officials can help reach that goal by standing with kids and supporting proven strategies to prevent youth tobacco use, including higher tobacco taxes, strong smoke-free laws and prevention programs.”

In California, tobacco use claims 40,000 lives and costs $13.29 billion in health care bills each year. Currently, 10.5 percent ofCalifornia’s high school students smoke.

On Kick Butts Day, kids engage in creative events that range from small classroom activities about the harmful ingredients in cigarettes to large rallies at state capitols.

In California, activities include:

The Porter Youth Center, which is working to implement a smoke-free community in Seaside, will organize a cigarette butt cleanup in local parks and neighborhoods. Following the cleanup, students will attend a town hall meeting and request stronger no-smoking ordinances. Time: 1:30 PM. Location: 4283 General Jim Moore Boulevard, Seaside. Contact: Daniel Saia (831) 242-7823.

The Mount Carmel High School SADD Club will teach students at Black Mountain Middle School in San Diego about the dangers of tobacco—including hookah and e-cigarettes—through various events, displays, public service announcements and live music. Time: 11 AM. Location: 9353 Oviedo Street, San Diego. Contact: Sheila Hatfield (858) 484-1180.

Members of Roseland University Prep High School’s Project TRUE will perform a “walking tobacco audit” where they will record the prevalence of tobacco retailers and marketing near the high school in Santa Rosa. Time: 2:45 PM. Location: 100 Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa. Contact: Ali Samii (707) 575-6043.

On March 21, Eureka High School’s Friday Night Live chapter will organize a cigarette butt cleanup to remove tobacco litter from Arcata Plaza, and will compare the amount of litter picked up to last year’s efforts. The students support smoke-free communities and will provide information on the health and environmental impacts of tobacco litter and second-hand smoke. Time: 9 AM. Location: 808 G Street, Arcata. Contact: Jay McCubbrey (707) 441-5569.

For a full list of Kick Butts Day activities in California, visit Additional information about tobacco, including state-by-state statistics, can be found at

SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Research: SBHCs Promote Healthy Relationships

By Mackenzie Carpenter / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

teens-holding-hands-hs-lockerSometimes, all a teenager needs is a safe space to talk and learn about unhealthy dating relationships.

And often, the best place for that is actually at a school-based health center, according to a new study.

The centers, which provide on-site confidential counseling and services to adolescents, can be a powerful educational tool in helping young people to understand what is OK and what is not in relationships, according to the study by Elizabeth Miller, lead investigator and chief of the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

A group of 1,062 teens ages 14 to 19 were surveyed for exposure to relationship abuse — including cyber dating — sexual behavior and care-seeking for sexual and reproductive health at eight school-based health centers in California during the 2012-2013 school year.

At four centers, providers and staff were trained about how to best talk with students about health and unhealthy relationships and given educational materials and referrals, while four other centers did not get the training or information.

The differences were clear: Students who initially reported relationship abuse to trained staff at those four intervention sites were significantly less likely to report abuse three months later than those in schools without such services.  Of the 400 students reporting abuse at an initial visit, 65 percent were still reporting such abuse three months later at school-based centers vs. 80 percent in schools without intervention clinics.

Read about this study in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette | Read the abstract from Pediatrics

Urge Support for the Federal SBHCs Act

The School-Based Health Centers Act, introduced by Rep. Lois Capps (CA-24) in July, would provide much-needed federal support for SBHC operations. Read more about H.R. 2632.

Please urge your Representative to support the bill by becoming a cosponsor. Take action online with the national School-Based Health Alliance.

Thank you to California Reps. Brownley, Chu, Farr, Honda, Lee, Napolitano, Roybal-Allard, and Waxman for signing on as cosponsors! We are grateful for Rep. Capp’s leadership in introducing H.R. 2632 into Congress.

Superintendents Urge Funding for SBHCs

CongressListen to Serena Clayton on KCBS: Report 1 | Report 2. Read the California Healthline report.

Nineteen California school superintendents — including State Superintendent Tom Torlakson — have signed on in support of a joint letter by the California School Health Centers Association (CSHC) and the National Assembly for School-Based Health Care (NASBHC).

Read the letterSee the list of California’s superintendents who signed the letter. Read NASBHC’s press release. Read an editorial in support of SBHCs from the SFUSD Superintendent.

“The West Contra Costa Unified School District is definitely in support of funding for school based health centers.  Since we’ve added them to our schools in 2007, our high school attendance is up, our dropout rate is down, violence in our schools is way down and academic achievement is up.” – Dr. Bruce Harter, Superintendent, West Contra Costa Unified School District

The letter calls for inclusion of $50 million for the operations of SBHCs in the fiscal year 2014 budget and was sent by NASBHC to Senator Harkin and Representative Kingston, as well as to other members of Congress. School administrators from other states also signed the letter.

SBHCs are improving the health of children and youth, many of whom would otherwise go without necessary health and mental health services. The Affordable Care Act — aka “health care reform” — created an SBHC operations grant program, but did not fund it.

CSHC joins NASBHC and hundreds of school health stakeholders in urging Congress to appropriate $50 million to fund this program. We estimate that, of $50 million appropriated nationally, California would receive $8 million.

With this money:

 160 SBHCs could provide medical care to 32 uninsured patients each week—for a total of almost 250,000 additional visits each year.


 100 SBHCs could hire a mental health clinician to provide therapy, including crisis, grief, and long-term counseling, to uninsured students—reaching 15,000 more students each year.


 120 school-based outreach and enrollment specialists could help over 100,000 students and family members sign up for insurance.


 120 SBHCs could hire a youth program facilitator to lead school-wide efforts to build a healthy school climate, prevent and address violence, and promote positive youth development.

California’s signatories to the letter include:

Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, California

Dr. Trudy Arriaga, Superintendent, Ventura Unified School District

Dorma Baker, Superintendent, Pajaro Valley Unified School District

Dr. Daryl Camp, Superintendent, Riverbank Unified School District

Richard Carranza, Superintendent, San Francisco Unified School District

Dr. John Deasy, Superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District

Robert Frausto, Superintendent, Kerman Unified School District

Jon Gundry, Superintendent, Pasadena Unified School District

Dr. Bruce Harter, Superintendent, West Contra Costa Unified School District

Bill Kowba, Superintendent, San Diego Unified School District

Dr. Debbra Lindo, Superintendent, Emery Unified School District

Richard Martinez, Superintendent, Pomona Unified School District

Kari McVeigh, Superintendent, New Haven Unified School District

Marco Petruzzi, Chief Executive Officer/Superintendent, Green Dot Public Schools

Jonathan Raymond, Superintendent, Sacramento City Unified School District

Neil Smith, Co-Superintendent, Berkeley Unified School District

Dr. Tony Smith, Superintendent, Oakland Unified School District

Edward Velasquez, Superintendent, Lynwood Unified School District

Kirsten Vital, Superintendent, Alameda Unified School District

American School Board Journal: Caring for Student Health

It makes perfect sense: If you don’t feel well, you won’t perform well. Professional athletes know this. Medical asbj coverprofessionals know this. Moms and dads know this. And in an increasing number of public schools, district officials know it too. And many are doing something about it, in the form of more than 2,000 school-based health centers across the nation. Read more.

Learn More About Ed Funding Opportunity for SBHCs

The U.S. Department of Education recently released the draft guidance for its upcoming Race to the Top district competition, which includes a priority for “cradle-to-career results, resource alignment, and integrated services.” The official RFP will be released later this summer.

Learn more about this opportunity:

  • The Coalition for Community Schools will host a webinar on the RTTT opportunity, with a focus on developing community-district partnerships, on June 21st at 10am. The Associate Superintendent for Family, Schools and Community Partnerships from Oakland Unified will speak. Register here.