School-Based Health Centers Coming to Three Arkansas Districts


Three school districts recently received state funding to implement School Based Health Centers.
The Arkansas Department of Education’s School Health Services Office in collaboration with the Arkansas Department of Health and Arkansas Medicaid in the Schools awarded funds to Cord-Charlotte Elementary School in the Cedar Ridge School District, Malvern High School in the Malvern School District and Southside Elementary School in the Southside School District.
Funds are awarded to districts in an effort to promote health, wellness and academic achievement among public school students. The three centers, which will begin implementation during the 2014-2015 school year, are among more than 20 centers statewide that receive funding.
“Studies show that students perform better academically when they have access to quality health care,” ADE Commissioner Dr. Tom Kimbrell said. “The medical services provided will have a positive impact on student achievement, and it will promote a lifetime of wellness.”
Centers must undergo a competitive application process, which includes internal and external reviews and an onsite visit. The centers are required to implement three components in order to meet state requirements. They must offer physical health services, mental and behavioral health services, and school health outreach programs based on student and community needs. Each also must have a health care professional onsite a minimum of 12 hours per week.
Local academic officials and local health service providers design the centers based on student and community needs. Some centers are open to students, district employees and the community. Many of these centers offer other services, such as dental and optical, in additional to the required services.
Click here to learn more about the School-Based Health Center program and to see a list of center locations.