Denver Health's School-Based Health Centers Awarded $1.26 Million Grant

April 11, 2016

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The Denver School-Based Health Center (SBHC) Program—sponsored by Denver Health—was recently awarded $1.26 million to support comprehensive and integrated health services for the 2016-2017 school year from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

Denver Health has served as the lead agency and medical sponsor for Denver’s school-based health centers for 29 years, providing free integrated health care services to Denver Public School (DPS) students. By eliminating logistical and financial barriers, SBHCs promote access to comprehensive health care and provide a critical service to youth who may otherwise have limited access to medical care. Services provided in SBHC’s include primary care, child care, immunizations, medical management of chronic health conditions, behavioral health services and reproductive health education.

The grant—which provides more state funding than the SBHC program has received in the past—offers support for the continued operation and expansion of the 17 SBHC’s in Denver public schools. Over the last five years, Denver’s SBHC program has grown by 10 percent each year. In 2009, around 6,700 received care at 9 centers; this year, 12,000 students are expected to receive care in 17 centers.

“In addition to providing funding to our ever growing network of SHBC’s, this grant money will be used towards expanding our mental and behavioral health offerings and continue to fund outreach workers to identify uninsured families that will benefit from the SBHC program,” said Dr. Steven Federico, Denver Health’s Director of General Pediatrics and School and Community Programs. “Overall, this grant will allow Denver Health to continue providing comprehensive and quality care to the students of Denver Public Schools.”

This award resulted from Colorado’s five year competitive grant process for SBHCs across the state. Currently, state funding supports 22 agencies operating 55 school-based health centers across Colorado. SBHCs provide medical, mental and behavioral health, health education and insurance enrollment assistance.  Denver SBHCs are operated through a multi-agency partnership between Denver Health, Denver Public Schools, the Mental Health Center of Denver and Jewish Family Services.