How School-Based Health Centers Work

The Bethel Health Center located at Cascade Middle School in Eugene is an excellent example of an SBHC that has a positive impact on students and the community. Learn about their services and hear from staff, students, and families in this video:

SBHC services

SBHCs are staffed like a local pediatric or family practice clinic with administrative staff and clinical providers (nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or physician), and at some sites, qualified mental health professionals.

Decisions about which services to offer at an SBHC are made locally and must be in compliance with state with state certification standards. Each SBHC operates with a medical sponsor such as a county health department, university medical center, private health clinic, or a federally qualified health centers (FQHC).

Today, 44 of the 65 SBHCs in Oregon are sponsored by FQHCs, and 36 of them are sponsored by local county health departments, 22 of which have FQHC status. 

Key services include:

  • Quality primary health care, including routine physical exams, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illness, treatment of minor injuries, and vision and dental screenings
  • Prevention messages and health education such as obesity counseling and tobacco prevention
  • Mental health services or referrals, including grief therapy, help with peer pressure, bullying and suicide prevention
  • Access to care for all students within their district, with some offering expanded after-school hours
  • Engaging students, parents and community members in advisory councils that provide support for the center and opportunities for community service


Funding formulas vary by site but include state dollars sent to each county with an SBHC. For 2011-2013, state funding for SBHCs was approximately $7 million. Local dollars may come through school districts, county health departments, hospitals, community providers, local businesses and individuals, grants and other fundraising.

More Information

2014 SBHC Status Report from the Oregon Health Authority
Read the 2014 OSBHA Fact Sheet
List of Oregon SBHCs 
SBHC History in Oregon: Honoring a Legacy and Advancing a Future