School-based health centers (SBHC) are designed to provide care to students who might otherwise not get it, and therefore tend to be in areas with low income levels, high numbers of recent immigrants to the United States, and where services are not readily available.
Typically, principals interested in establishing an SBHC can contact the Office of School Health (OSH) for help and guidance through the process. Although there are many steps involved in establishing a SBHC, it is well-worth the effort.
In general, the following criteria is used for establishing a new SBHC:
- Commitment from the school/campus principal(s)
- A minimum school/campus enrollment of 1,200 students
- A large population of students receiving free lunch
- Is located in an area with limited health care resources
- An adequate space for the SBHC facility
Currently, schools interested in establishing a new SBHC will need to identify a source of funding for construction or renovation of the medical suite. Funding may be provided by public or private grants, City Council appropriations or other private sources. A new SBHC facility costs an average of $1.5 million dollars.
Location and Space Specifications: Appropriate space must be identified within the school that will house the SBHC. The SBHC should be located on the ground floor or basement of the main school building close to an exterior exit. Generally, a SBHC takes between 1,200 and 2,000 square feet.
Additionally, establishing and maintaining a SBHC requires a mutually supportive and collaborative partnership between the Principal(s) and health care service providers (HCSP).
- Commitment for meeting monthly or as needed with SBHC staff
- Supporting the SBHC when facility renovation is necessary
Partnering with a Heath Care Service Provider: After assessment of a school/campus capacity and target population, the next step will be to find an Article 28 SBHC sponsor (Health Care Service Provider or HCSP) willing to become your partner in this endeavor. The Office of School Health can help you to identify HCSPs in your area.
Current HCSPs are: