HHS Awards $95M for School-Based Health Centers Across the U.S.
On Thursday, HHS announced $95 million in grants from the federal health reform law to help 278 school-based health centers across the country expand health care services for students, their families and their communities, The Hill's "Healthwatch" reports (Pecquet, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 7/14).
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said school-based health centers often serve as the first lines of defense in combating chronic conditions and expanding comprehensive health care services for children (Charles, Pasadena Star-News, 7/14). School-based clinics typically offer services such as medical care, dental care, health education and behavioral health services (Cuda, Connecticut Post, 7/14).
The awards, which will be administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration, are the first in a series of reform law grants for the school-based health centers. In total, the reform law set aside $200 million from 2010 through 2013 for the School-Based Health Center Capital Program (HHS release, 7/14).
Funds from the program only can go toward capital improvements at the health centers, such as purchasing new equipment or renovating buildings. The grants are not meant to help pay for new staff (Connecticut Post, 7/14).
Federal officials said the awards will go to clinics that already serve about 790,000 patients and could help those centers serve an additional 440,000 patients ("Healthwatch," The Hill, 7/14).
California's Grant Awards
Of the $95 million inÂ total grants awarded, California received about $14 million.
The state currently has 176 school-based health centers and has plans to open at least 30 additional clinics (Blume, "L.A. Now," Los Angeles Times, 7/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.