Washington, D.C. – Congressman John Faso announced co-sponsorship for a bill to reauthorize and make improvements to the School-Based Health Centers. The legislation, H.R. 1027 the Hallways to Health Act, creates a grant program to support school-based health centers in order to encourage children and their families to adopt healthy behaviors.
“School-Based Health Centers are critically important providers of healthcare in Upstate New York,” said Faso. “These SBHCs primarily operate in underserved communities, and are increasingly important in Otsego, Delaware, and Schoharie counties. SBHCs play a crucial role in the provision of primary care services to school children, along with dental screenings and mental health services.”
Bassett Healthcare Network operates 20 school-based health centers, which provide care for approximately 7,500 children and youth in rural New York.
“We are pleased that Congressman Faso has offered to support this legislation,” notes Chris Kjolhede, MD, co-director of the Bassett Healthcare Network School-Based Health Program. “In the complex field of health care financing and delivery, school-based health centers offer ready access to integrated services that include mental and dental health. Many of the students enrolled in our program might not otherwise have such crucial health care services readily available to them.”
- New York currently has the largest statewide network of school-based health centers (SBHCs) in the country.
- New York has over 250 SBHCs that serve over 185,000 enrolled students across the state.
- The first SBHC in New York opened in 1978, and 2018 marks 40 years since the program started in the state.
- There are over 2,000 SBHCs nationwide that serve over two million students.
- More than 1/3 of SBHCs nationwide are in rural communities.
- Nearly 1,200 of SBHCs nationwide offer mental health services.