A Landscape of School-Based Health Centers in Delaware

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A school-based health center (SBHC), also referred to as a student wellness center, is a method of healthcare delivery that provides school-aged youth with comprehensive physical, mental, and preventive health services delivered by qualified medical and behavioral providers in a school setting. These health centers are designed to mitigate the barriers to health-care services that students may face, such as lack of transportation, health-care providers, and insurance coverage. It has been well documented that school-based health centers can effectively address such barriers and reduce emergency room visits in school-aged children and adolescents. These wellness centers are cost-beneficial and have the potential to close health disparity gaps between racial groups.3 In Delaware, every public high school has opened a school-based health center and key stakeholders are advocating for the expansion of schoolbased wellness programs to provide care in elementary schools. The following brief will examine the history and role of school-based health centers on a national and a statewide level, the differences between high school health centers and elementary school health centers, the existing model of high school-based health centers in Delaware, and the pilot public elementary school-based health centers, the first of which opened in April 2018.
School-based health center, Student wellness center, Healthcare, Education, Health disparity