The Health Resources and Services Administration announced Wednesday it is awarding $80 million for school-based health centers to improve access to primary, mental and oral health care for school-aged children. Some 197 school-based health care programs received this third and final funding grant made possible by the Affordable Care Act. A total of $189 million has been allocated solely for school-based health centers through the law since 2011. A complete list of grantees is available on HRSA’s website.
Wednesday’s award announcement comes on the heels of last week’s school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that shone a harsh light on a chronic lack of funding for mental illness in the U.S.
“School-based health centers are leading the way in redefining health for kids and teens, and I congratulate all the recipients,” said Linda Juszczak, president of the National Assembly on School-Based Health Care. “They excel at ensuring students get the physical, mental and other health care services they need. This is critically needed funding that will benefit schools and communities as well as students and their families.”
APHA has been pushing for $50 million in operations funding for school-based health centers, which has yet to be allocated.