The School-Based Health Center Program, administered by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) since 1989, has become an integral part of the health care delivery system for children in Massachusetts. School-based health centers play a critical role in efforts to reduce disparities in health care access and child health status by providing a consistent source of primary health care in the most accessible environment. School-based health center care has been shown to be an important option for reducing both financial and non-financial barriers to health care, such as lack of insurance, lack of confidentiality, inconvenient office hours and locations, inability of working parents to leave their jobs to get children to care, lack of transportation, and apprehension and discomfort discussing personal problems affecting health. School-based health centers must meet requirements for MDPH licensure, including safety standards and other applicable regulations. Currently, MDPH funds 16 sponsoring agencies (hospitals, community health centers and local health departments) that operate 33 school-based health centers, which function as satellite outpatient clinics. School-based health centers are staffed by nurse practitioners or physician assistants who are authorized to prescribe medications and are supervised by a medical doctor. They comply with National Standards for Pediatric Preventive Care, such as the American Medical Association's Guidelines for Adolescent Preventive Services.
- The School-Based Health Center Model at Work in Massachusetts file size 1MB
- Quality Standards
- Directory of School-Based Health Centers
- Additional Resources
This program is a part of the Division of Health Access .
Renée Aird, B.S.N., M.S.
Director, School Based Health Center Program
Division of Primary Care and Health Access
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
250 Washington Street, 5th floor