Be a Part of the Excitement When Our 2016 Convention Returns to DC

By John Schlitt, President, School-Based Health Alliance

2016 National School-Based Health Care Convention

In 2003 the Alliance organized its first Capitol Hill Day that set into motion a first-ever national campaign to bring school-based health centers into the consciousness of the US Congress. It was so successful that our field has made it a triennial tradition. And it’s why I always look forward to the return of our convention to the nation’s capital. The number of participating advocates has tripled over the years: hundreds of practitioners and administrators, even consumers and families, travel from across the country to speak directly with national lawmakers about the power of the model and the unique benefits they bring in the communities they represent.

2016 in particular will be an exciting time to visit Washington, DC. Our upcoming convention takes place just five short months before the election in November. What better time to remind your Members of Congress that school-based health centers (SBHCs) matter to their constituents than shortly before we all head to the polls?

I am also looking forward to continuing our tradition of excellent workshops and presentations at our 2016 convention, and that’s where we need you. In 2015, Leisa Irwin, Executive Director of Paladin Career and Technical High School in Minnesota, opened our convention with a presentation on the growing recognition of the harmful effects adverse childhood experiences have on young people. As we’ve seen throughout this summer, communities like Newtown, Connecticut, and Ferguson, Missouri, have turned to SBHCs in times of trauma.

We want to hear more about what you are doing to address the root causes of poor health outcomes in your community. Is your SBHC experimenting with healing circles or restorative justice approaches? How are you tackling the powerful social determinants of health? The field is eager to learn from your bold experimentation.

We hope to see a variety of presentations, from innovative financing models like value-based purchasing, to how you’re utilizing partners to address the unmet oral health needs of students and their families.

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