School-Based Health Centers
Education Plus Health is a nonprofit organization committed to improving access to high quality healthcare and driving better educational outcomes for underserved communities. Through the school-based health centers in Title One schools, the organization provides holistic health care in collaboration with students’ primary care provider and specialists as needed, with special focus on the core areas of concern in our communities. In some schools the organization provides an integrated school nursing model within the school-based health center for total health and wellness and compliance with all State mandates for school nursing. Ultimately the program works to improve health and academic outcomes through decreased absenteeism and better health outcomes for students.
Nurse practitioners and their clinical team work daily to provide:
- acute care, chronic disease management, and preventive care including sports physicals
- diagnoses and treatment for acute and chronic disease needs
- care management, coordination, and referrals in collaboration with primary care physicians and specialists
- universal risk screening and assessment for mental health, substance use and abuse, sexual health, obesity, and asthma control
- SBIRT delivered by nurse practitioners for substance use prevention and intervention (Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral & Treatment)
- reproductive health care for teens
- mental health counseling in select schools
- classroom education and school-wide population health efforts
Our community health workers serve as:
- Asthma and diabetes coach and educator
- Nutrition and healthy decision-making coach
- Motivational coach into services for behavioral health counseling and more
- Substance use risk reduction coach
- Liaison to resources for food insecurity, housing, health insurance, and more
Benefits of School-Based Health Centers
- Students who use school-based health centers have better grade point averages, get more physical activity, and eat more healthy foods than their counterparts.
- School-based health centers reduce absenteeism, emergency room utilization, hospitalization, and Medicaid costs overall—particularly for children with chronic health conditions like asthma.
- School-based health centers increase the use of primary care particularly for vulnerable youth who live in poverty, and for adolescents, one of the groups most likely to lack routine preventive care.
- Asthma management in school-based health centers decreases hospitalization rates by up to 75-85% and improves the use of peak flow meters and inhalers, saving approximately $970 per asthmatic child per school year.
- Students with access to school-based health centers are more likely to get reproductive preventive care, be screened for a sexually transmitted disease or infection, receive sexual health education, and use protection or abstain from sexual activity.
- School-based health centers reduce Medicaid expenditures related to inpatient, drug, and emergency department use.
- Mental health counseling has been repeatedly identified as the leading reason for student visits.
- One study found that “inner-city students were 21 times more likely to make mental-health related visits to school-based health centers than to community health centers.”
Education Plus Health is a member and the emerging affiliate for Pennsylvania to the national School-Based Health Alliance. The School-Based Health Alliance has been the national voice for school based health care since 1995. Education Plus Health is working with the support of the Alliance to advance policies and frameworks in Pennsylvania that enable the growth of school-based health centers across the state.
To bring a school-based health center to your school, contact Julie Cousler, Executive Director at Julie@educationplushealth.com.
To bring a center to your school, email Julie Cousler Emig.