School health programs awarded $5 million

Dec 21, 2012

The department of Health and Human Services awarded more than $5 million to school-based health centers in New York state this week. The funding is part of an $80 million dollar pot distributed to 197 centers around the nation.

The capital is earmarked for construction and renovation, and aims to allow school-based health centers - physician-run clinics that work in conjunction with school nurses, staff, and parents - to serve more students and expand access.

The largest portion of New York's funding, over $1 million, will go to three providers in Rochester. Operations in Schenectady, Albany and Watertown are receiving lesser amounts.

Spokesperson for the health resources and services administration, Martin Kramer, says the funding was made possible by the Affordable Care Act, and is crucial for the development of such clinics.

"School based health centers provide a combination of primary care, mental health care, substance abuse counseling, dental health, nutrition, education, and promote healthy activities," he says. "So it's incredibly important that these school-based health centers receive funding, so they can continue that work."

Kramer says the funding was awarded based on the quality of applications.

New York state overall received 17 separate awards, the second highest number of awards for a state nationwide.