School-Based Health Centers

Creating a new SBHC

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:

  1. Commitment from the school/campus principal(s)
  2. A  minimum school/campus enrollment of 1,200 students
  3. A large population of students receiving free lunch
  4. Is located in an area with limited health care resources
  5. 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:

  • Bedford Stuyvesant FHC
  • Bellevue Hospital
  • Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center
  • Brownsville Multi-Service FHC
  • Children’s Aid Society
  • East Harlem Council for Human Services
  • East New York D&TC
  • Elmhurst Hospital
  • Heritage Health Care Center
  • Institute of Urban Family Health
  • Jamaica Hospital
  • Long Island Jewish Medical Center
  • Lutheran Medical Center
  • Montefiore Medical Center
  • Morris Heights Health Center
  • Morrisania D&TC
  • Mount Sinai Hospital
  • New York Presbyterian Hospital
  • North General Hospital
  • Queens Hospital Center
  • Renaissance Health Care Network
  • SUNY Downstate Hospital
  • St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital
  • Staten Island University Hospital
  • Urban Health Plan
  • William F. Ryan Community Health Center
  • Ryan-NENA Community Health Center
  • Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center


Application to the State for Approval:
The HCSP and the school/campus, in conjunction with the NYCDOE Office of School Health, must complete an application to establish an SBHC from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).  The application package can be obtained by contacting:

School Health Program
Bureau of Child & Adolescent Health
New York State Department of Health
Room 208, Corning Tower Building
Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12237-0618
(518) 486-4966


Memorandum of Understanding:
Part of the application package for New York State is a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the HCSP and the NYCDOE.  The MOU requires a signature page from the principal(s) of the school(s) being served by the SBHC. For the approved MOU please click here.

SBHC Operational Funding: In order for a SBHC to be approved, it must have an identified source of operational funding.  Funding for SBHCs comes from a variety of sources: 

Billing: Although SBHCs cannot bill students or their families for services, HCSPs can bill Medicaid and families’ private health insurance.

State grant funding: State grant funding is the largest source of SBHC funding. The funding includes: NYS general funds, the maternal and child health (MCH) block grant, and tobacco tax and tobacco settlement funds, and the social services block grant.

In-kind support: Many SBHCs receive in-kind services from their sponsoring agencies, as well as from their host schools.  School in-kind support usually takes the form of a health aide or school aide who works within the SBHC.

Federal role: The healthy schools/healthy communities grant program, administered by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Bureau of Primary Health Care, is the largest source of federal funding for SBHC.



If you have any questions please contact Dr. Marcelo De Stefano, Director, SBHC, Dental Clinics, and Health Insurance at mdestefano4@schools.nyc.gov  or Solluz Melendez, Program Coordinator at smelendez7@schools.nyc.gov