Optimize health and academic achievement among young people through access to quality, integrated health care in schools.
Children in Colorado experience profound disparities in health and education depending on their socio-economic status, race/ethnicity, and geographic location. The impact of poverty and other social determinants of health are manifested in poor health and educational outcomes. Colorado Association of School-Based Health Care (CASBHC) was established in 1996 to address these issues by supporting a statewide network of school-based health centers (SBHCs).
School-based health centers place critically needed services like medical, behavioral, and sometimes dental and vision care, directly in schools where young people spend most of their time, maximizing their opportunity to learn and grow. If a child lacks access to care, SBHCs can serve as an affordable and accessible primary medical home. With SBHCs' convenient location in schools, factors such as transportation, parent availability, and missed appointments are greatly reduced. These programs not only lead to better educational outcomes, but also reduce inequities in health care outcomes.
CASBHC supports approximately 67 existing and emerging school-based health centers in Colorado through policy development and advocacy, training and technical assistance, and facilitation of quality improvement projects. SBHCs rely on CASHBC to facilitate grant funding, provide guidance, and act as the umbrella for SBHC communities and personnel creating cohesion and stronger collaborations. Two recent projects that this project seeks to expand and build on include Responding to ACEs on the Western Slope, which focused on screening for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and training to support provider response to these screenings and Resilient School Communities (RSC), which focused on creating trauma-informed practices in schools, with SBHCs leading the initiative.
CASBHC elevates SBHCs across the state by engaging us in trainings, funding opportunities, and information sharing across programs/partners. For Every Child Pediatrics, they have listened to how we operate and in what areas we need support. The CASBHC team have spearheaded funding proposals to create more capacity for our team and allow us to focus on serving our patients. CASBHC advocates for SBHCs at the State and Federal level, especially in a time when we need it the most, to ensure we can continue to keep students healthy and ready to learn.
-Ashley Coram, Program Manager, Every Child Pediatrics
What a lifesaver! As I was a new executive director of a nonprofit with school-based health centers last year, CASBHC leadership and staff were invaluable. They provided information, guidance and connections to other SBHC nonprofits. They answered my questions, offered cohort learning opportunities and kept me and others appraised of the complex decisions happening at the Capitol. All amazing support for our success and the services we provide to our kiddos.
-Whitney Connor, Executive Director, Kids First Health Care