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%