SBHC Advocates Introduce Legislation in Senate to Reauthorize SBHC Program

SBHC Advocates Introduce Legislation in Senate to Reauthorize SBHC Program

WASHINGTON, DC (October 17, 2018) – In a bipartisan show of support for school-based health care, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) have introduced legislation in Congress that amends the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize the School-Based Health Centers (SBHC) program. The bill (S.3602) would extend the School-Based Health Centers program authorization through 2023. The program’s statutory authorization expired in 2014.

In her public statement about the bill, Senator Stabenow explained,“Too many children across our state do not have access to a family doctor and depend on school-based health centers for basic care. This is an important step toward making sure children across Michigan continue to receive the care they need throughout the school day.”

Voicing her support for school-based health centers and S.3602, Senator Capito said, “In West Virginia, school health centers play an important role in providing children with access to basic health services, especially in rural communities,” Senator Capito said. “This legislation will help ensure children in West Virginia and across the country continue to have access to critical school-based services that support their health and wellbeing.”

The reauthorization of school-based health centers is a critical step forward for children. At the heart of the SBHC model is the incontestable fact that healthy students are better learners. SBHCs represent a key strategy for ensuring our children and adolescents receive high-quality primary and mental health care services in a location that’s safe, convenient, and accessible. In this critical time, SBHCs are also meeting the increased mental health needs of the lesser known victims of the national opioid epidemic – children who are affected by their parents’ or families’ struggles with addiction.

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