COLUMBUS, March 4, 2022: Governor Mike DeWine has announced that $25.9 million will be awarded for 136 new or expanded School-Based Health Centers throughout Ohio.

“Studies have shown that health and wellness are interconnected,” said DeWine. “A student who is not healthy or who is chronically absent is not able to achieve their full potential. These partnerships between healthcare providers and schools supports the whole child and ensures that every child may realize their full potential.”

The Ohio Department of Health is awarding 15 contracts, totaling $25,910,983, to create 29 new School-Based Health Centers and expand services in 107 existing School-Based Health Centers.

The new and expanded clinics will provide primary care services and preventative care in the school setting. Some of the expanded clinics will add vision, dental, behavioral health and other healthcare services. These clinics eliminate many barriers to obtaining care including transportation; parents missing time at work and lack of a provider or medical home. In many cases, they also limit the time out of the classroom.

School-based health initiatives help ensure students are in school, healthy, and ready to learn through a school or district’s partnerships with health care providers and other community organizations. These clinics have emerged as effective models to improve student access to healthcare and have helped closed the gap for children in underserved communities.

Advantages of School-Based Healthcare Centers:

  • An accessible, connected community of caring adults around each student to keep them in class and learning.
  • Preparing the whole student for future success.
  • Families have a convenient, consistent way for their student to receive needed care and maximize their class time.
  • Each student can have greater access to clinicians and therefore increased efficacy of treatment.
  • More students can be treated by existing school healthcare providers in a more efficient manner.

A whole child approach broadens district and school focus beyond academics to include meeting students social-emotional, physical, and safety needs. School-Based Health Centers are well positioned to meet the non-academic needs of Ohio’s students while supporting the whole child.

Funding is being made available through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Additional funds are being made available through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief fund. Management of construction and capital expenses will be coordinated in partnership with the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Health.