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Blog Post 4: Keys to SBHC Success – Planning, Financing, New York State SBHC Guidelines


While exploring options around School Based Health Centers (SBHCs), there are key areas which ought to be considered. Excellent SBHC resources may be accessed for free from the national School Based Health Alliance website. From exploration of the research literature, as well as conversations with affiliates of RSA, the topic at the forefront of many stakeholders’ minds is financing – especially considering the startup costs to begin an SBHC. Other important factors to consider in starting up an SBHC are discussed below. While this list is not comprehensive, it does serve as a good start.

1. Identifying Funding Opportunities:

A primary concern for school districts is that around startup costs affiliated with beginning centers. One major space for SBHCs to gain financial support is to engage with federally-based grants. According to the literature, partnering with a committed grantmaking agency may provide an opportunity for supporting these costs. In rural regions, one key opportunity is through the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy’s Office for Advancement of Telehealth. These were first made operational in the 2017-2018 school year (Love et al. 2019a). Additionally, strong SBHCs may attain long-term financial sustainability when existing in states with enhanced Medicaid reimbursement rates. This could look like Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, as well as the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Furthermore, State Title V Block Grants and other similar federal