All children and adolescents deserve to thrive. But too many struggle because they lack access to health care services. School-based health care is the solution, bringing health care to where students already spend the majority of their time: in school.
About School-Based Health Alliance
At the School-Based Health Alliance, we’ve worked for over 25 years to:
- Set the national policy and legislative agenda for the field, advocate for greater support and funding
- Promote high-quality clinical practices and standards
- Support data collection and reporting, evaluation, and research
- Provide training, technical assistance, and consultation
Learn more about School-Based Health Alliance here.
Consulting and Training
About School-Based Health Care
School-based health care is a powerful tool for achieving health equity among children and adolescents who unjustly experience disparities in outcomes simply because of their race, ethnicity, or family income. It’s also a commonsense idea gaining currency across the country: place critically needed services like medical, behavioral, dental, and vision care directly in schools so that all young people, no matter their zip code, have equal opportunity to learn and grow.
School-Based Health Centers
The Intersection of Health and Education
Health is a critical factor in setting our children up for success in life inside and outside of school. School-based health centers (SBHCs) increase access to health care, contribute to positive educational outcomes, reduce emergency room use, lower Medicaid costs, and expand access to mental health services.
Services that SBHCs Provide
Health Supports Successful Students & Families
Better Access to Health Services
Healthier Students and Families
Healthy Students Learn Better
Gains in Student Academic Success
Helps to Build Trust
Families Connect With the School
Lower Medicaid Costs
Reduced Emergency Room Usage
More Time at Work Increases Families’ Financial Security
Delivering Health Services to Undeserved Communities
Most school-based health centers are operated by an external sponsoring medical partner.
Federally Qualified Health Centers
Nonprofit or Community-Based Organizations
Local Health Departments
Working in Every State
A Growing National Movement
The School-Based Health Alliance works on policy, standards, data, and training issues with state affiliates and national organization partners, advocates, healthcare providers, and SBHCs in every state.
The School-Based Health Alliance Works to Support & Grow SBHCs
Establishes and advocates for national policy priorities
Promotes high-quality clinical practices and standards, including for telehealth
Supports data collection and reporting, evaluation, and research
Provides training, technical assistance, and consultation
OUR VISION (Why)
We envision a day, soon, when all children and youth:
- Have access to everything they need [including limitless hope and opportunity] to [reach their highest potential] [thrive] [be productive and engaged adults] [focus on their academic success]
- Live in [safe][thriving] [neighborhoods] [homes] [environments] designed for them to be healthy and thriving.
- Live among adults that [value] [care for] [protect] them.
- Have a sense of self-worth, value, and agency around their wellness
- School-based health care creates health equity for students from low-income communities;
- Cross-sector collaboration, systems of care, and supports to create equitable opportunity for learning and health to all children—no matter their race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, gender, sexual orientation, ability, or zip code are critical to achieving health care equity;
- By working together, our schools, public health authorities, health care systems and providers, youth and family services, law enforcement and juvenile courts, community development institutions, interfaith and civil rights groups have the collective power to remediate the effects of detrimental social, environmental, and economic factors (also called root causes) on children’s health and academic success;
- When communities engage students and their families as active stakeholders, leaders, and change-makers in comprehensive, school-centered strategies, they can make every school a place of safety, belonging, connectedness, and limitless opportunity.
CORE VALUED BEHAVIORS
- We invest in people as critical resources for advancing our mission.
- We encourage continuous learning and challenging dialogue.
- We value hard work and balance in all lives to assure well-being.
- We value innovation, creativity, and the application of new ideas to solve complex problems.
- We hold ourselves accountable for results that are meaningful to our field.
- We strive for openness, inclusivity, collaboration, and diversity in our staff, members, and partners.
- We value inclusiveness, diversity, and equitable access to health care for all students from low-income households.
- We budget conservatively and do not waste precious resources.
School-based health care clinicians, practitioners, administrators; community health organizations delivering medical, behavioral, oral, and vision care; federal, state, and local public health authorities; federal, state, and local education agencies; state school-based health care affiliates; foundations and philanthropies; and health care payers—public and private; elected leaders and policymakers; traditional and social media; students and families in K-12 public schools serving low-income communities are our targets for information and advocacy.
OUR APPROACH (How)
Advocate to grow the number and expand the services of SBHCs nationally. Through education and advocacy for federal and state policies supporting the growth, expansion, and funding of SBHCs, we will expand the number of SBHCs nationally. We will also pursue relationships with national partners and positive media opportunities that further a fully staffed SBHC in every Title I school.
Grow and diversify the school-based health workforce. We will develop and implement plans and strategies to grow and diversify the school-based health workforce by working with national partners, federal agencies, and philanthropies. We will expand our youth outreach and activities to help us meet this challenge.
Develop electronic data collection and analysis capabilities. Working with our national partners, we will pursue government and philanthropic support for modernizing our data collection/analysis for all school-based health services. We will work with education partners to create better collaboration between sectors and address HIPPA and FERPA issues.
Expand the use of telehealth in schools. Telehealth is a great tool for clinicians, but it does not replace in-person clinical professionals.
Disseminate best practices. Our team, working with our national partners where possible, share best practices and current information through learning communities, consulting contracts, and training opportunities. We provide tailored, in-depth technical assistance and consulting services on a fee-for-service basis to help communities design, plan, operate, and evaluate school-based health care programs. We offer virtual and in-person events and activities.
OUR GOALS (What)
- Maintain and grow the reputation of SBHA as the subject matter experts on school-based health care;
- Secure federal budget line items for SBHCs both within the 330 program and for non-FQHCs;
- Complete all projects and grants on time and budget;
- Operate a national conference either virtually, in-person, or as a hybrid;
- Continue to grow our national partnerships and media relationships;
- Aggressively seek new funding (philanthropic and government) for workforce development and electronic data collection;
- Seek new funding for youth initiatives, including internships;
- Maintain staffing levels, only increasing where grants or projects require;
- Maintain a healthy work environment for staff;
- Seek funding for general operating expenses