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Partner Spotlight: School-Based Health Alliance

March Partner Spotlight 

Today we talk to community school partner, School-Based Health Alliance about their commitment to providing a national voice for school-based health care. 

1.  Can you explain the overall mission of the School-Based Health Alliance (SBHA)?

1.     Founded in 1995, the nonprofit School-Based Health Alliance is the national voice for school-based health care. We work to improve the health of children and youth by advancing and advocating for school-based health care.

We provide the field with high-quality resources, training, and motivation and inspiration to excel in their work. School-based health care practitioners, with their distinct expertise, knowledge, and experiences, play a vital role at the intersection of education and health care. By empowering them, we are redefining health for kids and teens.

We believe that all children and adolescents deserve to thrive. But too many struggle because they lack access to health care services. School-based health care is the solution, bringing health care to where students already spend the majority of their time: in school. When health and education come together, great things happen. 

2. What milestones has SBHA already reached or is it currently moving towards?

Through a cooperative agreement with the Maternal and Child Health Bureau at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the School-Based Health Alliance is working to expand the number of SBHCs, improve the quality of services they provide, and strengthen their sustainability by developing a set of national standardized performance measures. In partnership with our field, we are working towards two ambitious goals to support more and school-based health centers by the end of 2018. We also aim to expand our field by 30% and have 50% of our field voluntarily documenting performance measures on an annual basis.  

3.  How do SBHA principles tie into the Community School’s principles and philosophy? How do you see your work fitting into ours?

 Health care services are one part of a comprehensive set of supports that students need to succeed. The community schools model is ideal for addressing the inequitable distribution of community resources and supports to low-income children and their families. 

4.  What are some exciting things coming up for SBHA (i.e., events, publications)?

We are very excited about our upcoming convention! The 2017 National School-Based Health Care Convention will be held in collaboration with our state affiliate, the California School-Based Health Alliance from June 18-21, 2017, at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center in Long Beach, CA. Our convention is the premier advocacy, networking, and continuing education forum for school-based health professionals from across the nation and our theme this year is "Healthy, Resilient and Ready to Learn". In addition to innovative workshop content covering population health, primary care and behavioral health clinical skills, accountability and business, we are particularly excited for high quality plenary session speakers such as Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, founder and CEO for the Center for Youth Wellness, a nationally-recognized pediatric health organization based in San Francisco that works with children exposed to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress.


In addition to our upcoming convention, The Alliance is launching SBIRT-in -the SBHCs - an expanded initiative with support by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.  Having completed a two year pilot project, or Phase I, we are eager to bring on additional SBHCs to begin using SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment). SBIRT is an evidence based approach to identify, reduce, and prevent substance use, abuse, and dependence developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  In addition to using SBIRT in the clinical setting, the SBHC partners will be addressing alternatives to discipline alongside their education and community partners as part of this initiative.

5. How does SBHA enter equity in their agenda?

Equity is the cornerstone of our mission - moving health resources into socially disadvataged communities so school aged youth can access medical, behavioral and oral health care. 

6. Finally, what is the most exciting thing about working at the SBHA?

We are incredibly proud to represent the national school-based health care field, a diverse group of highly skilled and dedicated providers and administrators, who are working on the front lines every day to improve health and education outcomes for our nation’s children and adolescents. We are also fortunate to have a talented staff who are committed to sharing knowledge and developing each other’s knowledge and expertise.  

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