More Than $80 Million Awarded to School-Based Health Centers NationwidePrint This Post
Funds Expand Health-Care Access and Services for Thousands of Children and Youth
More than $80 million in federal funding went to 197 school-based health care programs across the nation in December. Made available through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and announced by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the funds are the third and final round of grants designed to improve access to primary, mental, and oral health care for school-aged children. In 2011 HRSA awarded the first round of grants in an initial installment of $95 million, with a $14 million installment released later that year. The funding secured through the ACA was the first time federal funds were directed solely to school-based health clinics. Grants were available for construction, renovation, and equipment needs.
Three new states—Idaho, Nevada, and Utah—were added to the list of grant recipients. Since 2011, 520 school-based health-care programs received $189,935,418, with 47 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico receiving funding. The states that ranked in the top five of overall funding total awards were: California, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, and New York. The only states not to benefit from the grants made available through the ACA were Vermont, New Hampshire, and North Dakota.
School-based health clinic grants went to 10 counties in Georgia, where Family Connection Collaborative organizations were on the planning teams:
- Turner County Board of Education, Ashburn
- West End Medical Centers, Inc., Atlanta
- Bleckley County Board of Education, Cochran
- Coffee County Board of Education, Douglas
- Dodge County Board of Education, Eastman
- First Choice Primary Care, Inc., Macon
- Colquitt County Board of Education, Moultrie
- Tattnall County Board of Education, Reidsville
- Primary Health Care Center of Dade, Inc., Trenton
- Community Health Care Systems, Inc., Wrightsville
Data show that school-based health centers help decrease absenteeism, reduce unnecessary and costly emergency room visits, and ensure quality and cost-effective care for children and adolescents. There are more than 1,800 centers nationwide serving more than 1.8 million children.
“School-based health centers are leading the way in redefining health for kids and teens and I congratulate all the recipients,” said Linda Juszczak, president of the National Assembly on School-Based Health Care (NASBHC). “They excel at ensuring students get the physical, mental, and other health care services they need. This is critically-needed funding that will benefit schools and communities as well as students and their families.”
“These new investments will help school-based health centers establish new sites or upgrade their current facilities to keep our children healthy,” said Secretary Sebelius.
While funding has been awarded for construction grants, there remains $50 million in operations funding that has yet to be allocated. These funds, which would go to help staff SBHCs with nursing practitioners, mental health providers, administrators and more, has not yet been made available by Congress. NASBHC is working to secure these funds.
“The impact of the constructions grants is clear,” said Juszcak. “Now is not the time to retreat on our community. Much of the ACA focuses on coverage and access to insurance. Investing in SBHCs means that, for thousands of children, access equal care. We urge federal lawmakers to appropriate the remaining funds that will create jobs, improve health and educational outcomes for students, and build stronger communities.”
GaFCP Communications Director
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