The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports the role of school-based health centers as a way to improve access to health care for children and adolescents as well as supporting medical homes for young patients. The AAP defines a medical home as a model of delivering primary care that is accessible, continuous, comprehensive, family centered, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective to all children and youth.
In policy statement “School-Based Health Centers and Pediatric Care,” the AAP writes:
School-based health centers (SBHCs) have become an important method of health care delivery for the youth of our nation. Although they only represent 1 aspect of a coordinated school health program approach, SBHCs have provided access to health care services for youth confronted with age, financial, cultural, and geographic barriers. A fundamental principle of SBHCs is to create an environment of service coordination and collaboration that addresses the health needs and well-being of youth with health disparities or poor access to health care services. Some pediatricians have concerns that these centers are in conflict with the primary care provider’s medical home. This policy provides an overview of SBHCs and some of their documented benefits, addresses the issue of potential conflict with the medical home, and provides recommendations that support the integration and coordination of SBHCs and the pediatric medical home practice.
Read the complete policy statement.