School-Based Health Centers

School-based health centers (SBHC) are a scientifically supported strategy to increase access to health care, improve health outcomes, and increase student academic achievement. SBHCs have a myriad of other benefits for participating families and children.

Why it matters:

  • Increased Access: SBHCs bridge the gap for students who might otherwise lack access to healthcare due to cost, transportation, or distance.
  • Improved Health Outcomes: Easier access to preventive care and treatment leads to better overall health for students.
  • Reduced Absenteeism: SBHCs can help keep students in class and focused on learning by addressing health concerns quickly and conveniently.
  • Higher Graduation Rates: Studies show a link between improved health and academic achievement. SBHCs can play a vital role in supporting students to graduate on time.
  • Equity for Underserved Communities: SBHCs bridge gaps in access to mental and physical healthcare, particularly for students from low-income families, rural areas, LGBTQIA communities, and those with disabilities.

In short, SBHCs are a powerful tool to promote health equity, improve academic performance, and empower all students to reach their full potential. We are working with school districts in Whatcom County to plan and implement community-developed school-based health centers that meet the needs of students, families, and school employees. 

Data highlights

Health Care Access in Whatcom County

While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded health insurance access in Whatcom County, the focus is now shifting towards improving systems for those with complex needs and expanding health care access to rural communities. This includes supporting individuals with chronic…

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Want to learn more or get involved?

You can find a full systematic review of the strategy from The Community Guide and read the full report and findings from the Community Preventive Services Task Force. Contact us to get involved!