School-Based Health Centers - who we are

Learn about us and our providers.

We are a collection of 41 health centers in 22 cities and towns throughout Massachusetts, mostly in high schools. The programs are administered through partnerships with community health centers, hospitals, and local health departments. We operate like satellite clinics in the school setting and offer expertise in treating common health problems of childhood and adolescence. Our providers offer a safe place to receive care and find a trusted adult.

Our providers

Our dedicated and compassionate staff is at the heart of what we do. Typically, our staff includes nurse practitioners, behavioral health clinicians, and community health workers who respond quickly to routine health problems with the goal of keeping kids healthy and preventing them from missing precious class time. Sites may also have additional staff, including nutritionists, physicians, and oral health providers. You can find out more about our staff by viewing the profiles below.

Nurse Practitioners

Julie Chan

Julie, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

What compels you to do this work?

Working in a school-based health center is the only thing I ever wanted to do. SBHCs allow me to provide direct patient care on my patients’ terms. SBHCs are a home and a safe haven for kids and their families where they can feel heard and cared for. That's why I do this work, so I can connect with my patients in a more meaningful way and really give them the tools to live a healthier life.

What do you love about it?

What other job allows you to directly influence, care for and really watch your patients grow? I can easily follow up with a sick patient or closely monitor a chronically ill patient. Here I have the luxury of time to build a relationship with my patients, so I can really understand where they are coming from and see the final product of their growth.

What do you think is most valuable about having a clinic located in a school?

There are many reasons to have a clinic in a school, the obvious ones being that it is convenient for families and patients to access care without having to take the day off from work or the entire day out of school for an appointment. But the real value is in the relationship you are able to develop with the patients and their families. Because you are so easily accessible and there for them every single day, you can develop a trust that is normally harder to create in a regular clinic. This trust allows me to work in a more meaningful way with my patients and their families, helping to guide them to make healthier choices and meaningful changes in both their physical and mental well-being.

Behavioral Health Clinicians

Sara, Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker

Sarah, Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker

What compels you to do this work?

The School-based health center is a very special place. We work closely as an integrated team to support the whole student. It is amazing to witness the resilience of our students/patients. We watch them face challenges at school, at home, and in the community and see how they adapt and grow with those challenges. We get to be part of a larger system of caring for students and supporting them to recognize and advocate for their own needs.

What do you love about it?

What I love about school-based health is watching how students become empowered around their own health and mental health care. One of my favorite things is when a student self-refers or refers their friend for care. That says to me that school-based is a place that the students trust and know they can go to for help and that is really invaluable.

What do you think is most valuable about having a clinic?

A lot of the students we see in school-based would face barriers to accessing services for their health and mental health needs. I feel proud that we offer high quality, compassionate, and patient-centered care in an accessible way. Being inside the school, we often have a greater understanding of the needs of individual students and the overall student body and can adjust our services to best meet the needs.

Community Health Workers

Sue, Community Health Worker

Sue, Community Health Worker

What compels you to do this work?

My love for the students with their unique personalities compels me to do this work. I feel privileged that many of the students allow me to have a glimpse into their private lives. Most students are willing to share their hopes, plans and dreams as well as some of the not so pretty stuff. Many of them have the answers, what they really need is someone who cares to listen.

What do you love about it?

Having been involved with SBHC for almost 25 years I have met so many amazing people including staff and students who continue take my breath away when I think about the depth of despair they have encountered and now, today, are thriving and have a good enough life. Yes!!!

What do you think is most valuable about having a clinic located in a school?

Having the SBHC located in the high school allows the students a safe, non-judgmental, caring space which meets their social, emotional and physical needs by a team that truly cares about them.

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