OSBHA August Newsletter

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In our August newsletter, we share our SBHC school reopening guidelines, federal and state policy updates, and a funding opportunity.
 
 
August 2020
 
A Message from Maureen Hinman, Interim Executive Director
As we rapidly approach the beginning of the school year, we continue to advocate for youth, school health services, and SBHCs. Importantly, we have been listening to young people and those in the field to help inform our advocacy.
 
We are hearing many things that reinforce the importance of school health providers – albeit in a new role. There is a necessity for outreach capacity to ensure that students are receiving the support that they need and for school health providers to work together to make sure that no one is falling through the cracks while schools remain closed. Telehealth support will remain essential. Youth are saying that they are worried about returning back to school, have concerns about COVID-19, and don’t think that things will be back to normal until there is a vaccine so adults need to stop talking as if they will. There are also the mental health impacts of isolation and the economic struggles that families are facing. Additionally, there is a deep toll that COVID-19 and the revolution for racial justice are taking specifically on young people in communities of color.
 
Partnerships within and between schools, health providers, community partners, parents, and young people themselves will be critical to smoothing the rocky road on which youth are travelling. Equity must be first and foremost in every conversation so that those that are impacted the most are supported the most as well. One of the best ways to ensure equity is to include the voices of those being served, in our case, young people. We will continue to listen and engage in order to focus our support where it is most needed.
 
Maureen Hinman
OSBHA Interim Executive Director
 
Guidance for Oregon's SBHCs for 2020-2021 School Reopening
When schools reopen, whether virtually or in person, SBHCs can provide preventive and routine health care that was deferred due to COVID-19, along with other critical physical, behavioral health care, and other healthcare services (e.g. dental care) for Oregon’s most vulnerable youth.
 
Because of the tremendous responsibility placed in the hands of local school and health officials for returning to in-person instruction, healthcare providers and schools/districts must develop and maintain a collaborative effort—now more than ever—to address student and school community needs.
 
 OSBHA has created a guidance document with the intent to:
  1. support and foster additional collaboration between existing SBHCs and the school communities they serve, and
  2. encourage school districts and healthcare providers to consider new collaborations to address student needs. 
 
Federal Policy Update
The House passed FY2021 Labor Health and Human Services Appropriations bill that includes a $10million carveout for FQHC sponsored SBHCs from within the Community Health Center Program. We believe the Senate Labor HHS Appropriations Subcommittee intends to do the same but they have not marked up any of their bills yet. 
 
SBHC Reauthorization Act Update (H.R. 2075 and S. 1013)
 Raise your hand if you advocated on the Hill in Washington DC during 2019’s national SBHC convention! ‚úč A group of Oregon advocates talked with our congressional representatives about “reauthorizing” the SBHC program so that Congress could specifically provide funds directly to SBHCs.
 
Well, OSBHA’s advocacy and that of many other states has continued and it paid off! On July 29, the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee held a virtual hearing, “Improving Access to Care: Legislation to Reauthorize Key Public Health Programs.” The School-Based Health Centers Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 2075) was one of several bills considered by the Subcommittee and national School-Based Health Alliance President Robert Boyd provided witness testimony on behalf of the bill. Of the 5 bills considered during the hearing, H.R. 2075 received a significant portion of the member questions. Our hope is that the bill will move to the next step in the process and be marked up by the Subcommittee in September. 
 
State Policy Update
OSBHA has worked with the Oregon School Nurses Association to develop a school health funding proposal that would provide funding for school health service providers to better be able to do outreach and provide support for students most impacted by school closures and COVID-19. We are continuing to hone our concept so that it is ready for the fall legislative convening. 
 
Funding Alert!
Quick Turnaround – August 31, 2020 
 
The Oregon Health Authority has released a grant application aimed at addressing social determinants of health and other impacts on people in communities hardest hit by COVID-19. The grants prioritize Tribal communities and communities of color. There is no minimum or maximum amount and the funds total $45 million. The application is relatively simple. The most challenging part of the grant is that funds must be spent by the end of December, though expenses can date back to March, and you must be able to report expenditures.
 
We strongly encourage SBHCs to apply for this so that you can better support youth and families of color in your communities. OSBHA may also apply, potentially for pass through, youth focused, and/or technical assistance funding. 
 
We would like to thank the following funders for supporting us in 2020:
 
Funders
Roy and Diane Marvin Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation
HealthGenYZ
Greater Albany Public Schools
Newberg School District
CareOregon, Gold Level Wellness Partner
Clackamas ESD
EC Brown Foundation
ITP3
Kaiser Permanente
Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division, School-Based Health Center Program
OHSU Knight Cancer Institute
Ronald W. Naito MD Foundation
School-Based Health Center Membership Dues
United Way of Columbia Willamette
 
Event Sponsors
CareOregon
Columbia Bank
Pacific West Bank
PeaceHealth
Willamette Dental
 
Individual Donors
Allan M. Siegel
Danni/y Rosen
Jill Daniels
William Thomas
Tracy Dannen-Grace
Jamie Zentner
Michael Ralls
Tarrah Adam
Tracy Garell
Mariotta Gary-Smith
Petra S. Berger
Billi Odegaard