The California School Health Centers Association (CSHC) improves the health and academic success of children and youth by advancing health services in schools. We envision a day when all of California's children and youth are healthy and achieving at their full potential. Since hiring our first paid staff in 2003, CSHC has successfully grown to have an annual budget of more than $1,000,000 and twelve staff. Our main office is in Oakland, and we have field staff based in Los Angeles and Fresno. We conduct policy work, promote the school based health center (SBHC) model, and assist SBHCs with program development to expand and strengthen school health services. Our large network of collaborating partners includes 200 SBHCs, numerous school districts, federally qualified health centers and other providers, dozens of state and local policy organizations, and an e-communications network of more than 2,000 individuals. Our goal is to make school health centers an integral and sustainable part of the health care and educational systems. By putting health care where kids are – in schools – school health centers increase access to care and take health problems out of the classroom so that teachers can teach and students can learn.
CSHC envisions an expansion of school health centers across California so that school health services are the norm, not a luxury. We have made progress toward this goal by: - Helping secure $200 million for SBHC equipment and capital, and an authorization for a federal program to fund SBHC operations in federal health care reform. - Passing legislation in California to create a statewide program for school health centers. While this bill has not been funded due to the budget crisis, its passage has raised the visibility of school health centers as an important part of the health care safety net. - Generating increased funding for school health centers by expanding health plan reimbursements to SBHCs, cultivating relationships with foundations, keeping apprised of government funding opportunities, and providing re-granting opportunities. - Helping schools and communities start school health centers and establish prevention programs. Dozens of schools and communities across California are now proceeding with plans to establish school health centers with the help of our various publications and tool kits. - Empowering youth to advocate for the health needs of students. We established the only statewide Youth Board in the country focusing on school health centers. Our Youth Board members lead trainings on how to engage youth, educate elected officials on the benefits of school health centers, and work to mobilize youth across California.
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