Students Speak Out

School-Based Health Care Policy Program

A vision for sustainability

Begun in 2004 at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the School-Based Health Care Policy Program was developed and guided by the conceptualization that school-based health care should be financially stable, available, and accessible to children and families, and supported as a consumer-centered model of quality care throughout the United States.

During this period, 1709 school-connected (school-based, mobile and linked) programs were identified in the biannual census conducted by the National Assembly on School-Based Health Care (NASBHC).1 Serving some of the most vulnerable populations of children and youth in the country, including significant numbers of uninsured and underinsured with limited access to health care; most of these centers faced a challenging time maintaining an adequate and reliable base of revenue to sustain and develop services.

Thus, the School-Based Health Care Policy Program (SBHCPP) initiated a multi-faceted strategy to achieve its vision. Essential to this design were 1) developing the infrastructure and skills needed by school-based health care (SBHC) state associations for community engagement, local and state policy advocacy, and 2) strengthening the capacity of NASBHC to provide national leadership in policy advocacy to support the growth and sustainability of SBHCs. With the award of $26 million to NASBHC and nine state SBHC associations (including funding for 40 community partners and three sovereign Native American nations), the grantees developed skills in organizational and resource development, strategic communications, youth engagement, community engagement and evaluation; all within a multicultural framework.

Through the grant, the state associations facilitated local-state partnerships, relationships within the education community, the development of key messages to inform legislators and policymakers, and a voice in the national policy arena. Besides the many organizational and state policy achievements, the most impactful accomplishments were federal recognition of SBHCs as eligible providers for reimbursement under Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization (CHIPRA)2 and federal authorization in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to support the operations, equipment, and construction costs of SBHCs.3

To date, more than 1900 SBHCs have been identified.4 Given the obvious need for this model of care, their proven impact, and the progress made in their sustainability during the SBHCPP years, school based health care has reached a level of maturity to expand its footprint.

Welcome to the new home of the School-Based Health Care Policy Program.

In 2010, the School-Based Health Care Policy Program moved to the American Public Health Association as the Center for School, Health and Education. The Center promotes school-based health centers as uniquely positioned to not only increase access to physical and mental health care, but to create a learning-friendly climate school-wide by addressing certain barriers to learning that challenge the school population.

The location of the Center within the American Public Health Association underscores the fact that high school completion is a public health priority. The Center for School, Health and Education will serve as a catalyst to bridge the health and social factors that impede educational success. The endeavor will focus on the development and implementation of an expanded SBHC model incorporating collaborations between public health and education.

Read more about the impact of the School-Based Health Care Policy Program:




  1. Juszczak L, Schlitt J, Moore A. National data from school year 2004-05 census.  Accessed March 1, 2011.


  1. CHIPRA Legislation [PDF, 424KB].  2009;90 Accessed March 1, 2011.
  2. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Enrolled Bill [Final as Passed Both House and Senate] – ENR)[H.R.3590.ENR][PDF]. 2010;428. Version 7. Accessed March 1, 2011
  3. Strozer J, Juszczak L, Ammerman A. National data from school year 2007-08 census. 2010;1. Accessed March 1, 2011.