School Based Health Centers

School Based Health Centers or SBHCs offer a wide range of services to children and teens in the community including medical care, counseling, and health education. Some sites provide dental health services. The centers are staffed by qualified medical staff and mental health professionals.There are currently 231 SBHCs throughout New York State in rural, suburban, and urban areas.  Nearly 214,723 students are served in SBHCs throughout the state.

Note: SBHC and dental health centers, or dental services provided in a school building must be approved the NYSDOH. Mental health clinics must be approved by the NYS Office of Mental Health.

Common characteristics of SBHC's include:

  • Located in schools or on school grounds.
  • Work cooperatively within the school to become an integral part of the school.
  • Provide a comprehensive range of services that meet the specific physical and behavioral health needs of the young people in the community.
  • Employ a multidisciplinary team of providers to care for the students: nurse practitioners, registered nurses, physician assistants, social workers, physicians, alcohol and drug counselors, and other health professionals.
  • Provide clinical services through a qualified health provider such as a hospital, health department, or medical practice.
  • Require parents to sign written consents for their children to receive the full scope of services provided at the SBHC.
  • Have an advisory board consisting of community representatives, parents, youth, and family organizations, to provide planning and oversight.

Alternative Model: School-Linked Health Centers

  • Located off school grounds
  • Often serve more than one school
  • Established methods of referral, communication, and follow-up with SBHC partners
  • Often extended hours beyond school day
  • Often broader scope of services than SBHCs

Guidance Related to School Based Health Clinics

NYSED Memo: Health, Dental and Mental Health Clinics Located on School Property (9/05).  On August 4, 2005, Governor Pataki signed this Regents legislative priority bill as Chapter 513 of the Laws of 2005. Chapter 513 amended section 414 of Education Law to provide clear statutory authority for the use of school space for licensed school health or mental health clinics.

Health and Human Resources (HRSA) School Based Health Centers Webpage- Provides an overview of the The Affordable Care Act which appropriated a total of $200 million from 2010 through 2013 to support capital grants to improve and expand services at school-based health centers.

School-Based Health Alliance (SBHA)
Our purpose is to provide the school-based health care field with help—
high-quality resources, training, information, guidance—as well as motivation and inspiration to achieve excellence in their work. 

New York School-Based Health Alliance (NYSBHA)

New York State Department of Health-School Based Health Centers in NYS


Updated 11-30-16