School-based health centers bring essential physical and behavioral health services to students, staff, and nearby residents who have limited access to primary health care services in their neighborhoods. By the fall of 2019, three new school-based health centers will have opened in North St. Louis County high schools. The health centers were created through collaborations among regional stakeholders that were facilitated by Health Equity Works.
Each center was developed after an extensive community-based needs assessment and created in partnership with existing health, education, and youth development organizations. Each center is paired with an existing Federally Qualified Health Center that provides clinical services and ensures ongoing sustainability. Health Equity Works envisions a school-based health center in all St. Louis area high-need school districts that can support them.
The work group that was established in the St. Louis region has also merged with efforts led by the Missouri School Board Association and other partners throughout the state to launch an emerging affiliate of the national School-Based Health Alliance. The organization will support the continued sustainability and growth of school-based health centers statewide. Washington University initially will serve as the fiscal agent for the Show Me School-Based Health Alliance (MO-SBHA), and a governance committee will include leadership from the Missouri School Board Association, Missouri Primary Care Association, and BJC HealthCare.