The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced awards of more than $80 million to 197 school-based health center programs across the country through the Affordable Care Act.
The awards, worth up to $500,000 each, will allow school-based health centers to serve an additional 384,000 students and continue the expansion of preventive and primary healthcare services, according to an HHS news release. “These new investments will help school-based health centers establish new sites or upgrade their current facilities to keep our children healthy,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
School-based health centers enable children with acute or chronic illnesses to attend school, and improve the overall health and wellness of all children through health screenings, health promotion and disease prevention activities.
Typically, a school-based clinic provides a combination of primary care, mental healthcare, substance abuse counseling, case management, dental health, nutrition education, health education and health promotion activities.
“Healthy children are more productive children,” said Health Resources and Services Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, RN, PhD. “These grants will improve access to care for children and help maximize their potential to learn.”
The Affordable Care Act provides $200 million in funding from fiscal years 2010-13 for the School-Based Health Center Capital Program. The latest grants are the third in a series of awards made available to school-based health centers through the program. For a full list of the awards, visit: www.hrsa.gov/about/news/2012tables/121218schoolbasedawards.html.