School Health Centers: Higher Numbers, Uneven Distribution
Los Angeles County has 73. Alameda County has 25 and San Diego County has 14. San Mateo, Tulare, Sacramento and Ventura counties have two each. School health centers, which provide a "medical home" for many underserved and uninsured students, are opening in increasing numbers in California.
In 2009 the state was home to 153 centers. Now there are 231. All are located in just 28 of California's 58 counties, with most in urban centers, according to new data posted on kidsdata.org.
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School health centers offer a range of services, such as primary medical care, mental or behavioral health care, dental care, substance abuse services, and health and nutrition education. Having the centers on campus or nearby reduces barriers to care such as transportation and scheduling.
Research has found that centers can lead to improved access to medical and dental care, better health outcomes, and improved school performance. They also have been shown to reduce emergency room visits and health care costs, and improve population health.
School health centers are financed through a variety of sources depending upon school and district needs.
See Related Data
California School-Based Health Alliance
Policy Statements, School-Based Health Alliance
The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools
School-Based Health Centers and Pediatric Practice: Policy Statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics
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School Health Centers