School-based health made great strides in 2013Highlights2013

In 2013, the school-based health community experienced a number of successes that helped us moved toward our vision that all children and youth in Oregon are healthy, learning and thriving. Here are some highlights:  

Years of work by the Oregon School-Based Health Alliance and our statewide community resulted in two significant legislative victories in 2013.

  • HB 2445 recognizes SBHCs in statute and is opening the door for additional resources, capacity building, and expanded locations and services. 
  • SB 436 formalizes partnerships between health and education sectors so that transformation efforts will have maximum impact in both areas.

Today, 65 SBHCs are in operation statewide offering a range of health services to more than 52,000 patients annually, and 12 new sites are in the planning stage.

OSBHA hosted our 20th annual school-based health conference. We provided dozens of hours of training and technical assistance throughout the year at sites around the state and from our Portland office. And, we provided support for an active statewide Youth Advisory Council that helped plan the annual conference, were key participants in Awareness Day, and promoted school-based health across Oregon -- among many other important tasks.  

Students from Estacada High School gather at the capitol for 2014 Awareness Day

Our 2014 policy agenda

In 2013, the Oregon State Legislature passed several bills demonstrating a commitment to improving the health and academic success of children and youth in Oregon.  In 2014, we request the following next steps be taken to build on the success from last year.
Policy Request: Provide funds from additional Tobacco Master Settlement Act (TMSA) money for implementation of SB436. SB436 encouraged coordinated care organizations to develop a plan within their currently required Community Needs Assessments to work with school health, the Youth Development and the Early Learning Councils to integrate all services for kids-physical, emotional, oral health and prevention, as well as identify improvements in SBHC systems or services.  Additionally, the bill authorized the Oregon Health Authority to provide incentive grants to CCOs to help with the implementation of the plan.  However, no grant funding was allocated.
Policy Request: Ensure the $4 million from HB2445 is included in the 2015-2017 Recommended Budget. HB2445 established school-based health centers (SBHCs) in Oregon statute and appropriated an additional $4 million to strengthen existing SBHCs and provide funding to expand services.  This increased investment will allow for more students and communities to be served as well as ensure continued service within existing SBHCs. The Oregon SBHC State Program Office (SPO) awarded 12 planning grants to explore and plan for SBHCs in 9 counties. 
Policy Request: Secure mental health funds in the 2015-2017 Recommended Budget to expand FTE for all SBHC sites; to ensure data management support; and to fund technical assistance and training. The Oregon Health Authority Budget for 2013-2015 included increased funding to the Addictions and Mental Health Division to support Oregon's community mental health system.  A portion of this funding was allocated for children's mental health, allowing SBHCs to increase their capacity to provide mental health services. The SBHC SPO provided Mental Health Expansion Grants to 16 counties, supporting 25 new SBHC mental health staff.
Additionally, we are looking ahead to the 2015 legislative session with the intent to:
  1. Reach full parity of the SBHC funding formula
  2. Secure expansion funding for SBHC planning grants and new SBHCs
  3. Secure State funding for capital grants for SBHCs
  4. Advance the school nurse ratio funding as outlined in 2009 legislation and expand the role of school nurses to serve as school health coordinators in conjunction with CCOs
Please contact Maureen Hinman, policy director, maureen@osbha.org, 503.719.4515, with additional questions.