SCHOOL-BASED HEALTH CENTERS ARE GOOD FOR PENNSYLVANIA
Education Plus Health Works for Health Equity in PA
School-Based Health Center (SBHCs) are considered nationally to be one of the most effective strategies for delivering preventive care to under-served youth, particularly adolescents. In-school medical providers are able to provide acute and preventive care, render diagnoses and write prescriptions. The services range from health screenings, delivering sick and injury care, preventive well-child care and sports physicals, administering flu shots and vaccines, conducting mental health and substance screenings and also mental health treatment, and providing confidential reproductive health care for teens. For many children and teens who live in poverty, the collaborative work of the SBHC provider makes the goals of the medical home for continuity of care achievable.
Education Plus Health Supports Full Practice Authority (FPA) SB 25/ HB 100:
Full Practice Authority and licensure laws allow all nurse practitioners to evaluate patients, diagnose, order and interpret diagnostic tests, initiate and manage treatments—including prescribing medications and controlled substances. 22 states and DC have full practice authority. Pennsylvania is one of only 16 states that requires career long physician supervision or collaboration but does not restrict the functions of nurse practitioner (NP) practice.
PRIMARY CARE ACCESS & UTILIZATION
Academic success increases with improved health and emotional wellbeing. Conversely, educational achievement is impaired by health disparities, particularly for urban minority youth. Asthma, diabetes, unhealthy weight, vision problems, teen pregnancy, and problems with inattention and hyperactivity have tremendous effect on students’ ability and motivation to learn. School-based health centers mitigate many barriers to academic success in underserved youth populations. Dozens of empirical studies demonstrate the effectiveness of school-based health centers in reducing absenteeism, emergency room utilization, hospitalization, and Medicaid costs overall, particularly for children with chronic health conditions like asthma.