Federal Grants Beef Up 11 Mass. School Health Centers

Masschusetts schools are just getting healthier and healthier. First there was yesterday's news about the new snack rules, some of the strictest in the nation. Now this is just in from the federal Department of Health and Human Services: Under the Affordable Care Act — better known as Obamacare — the government has just awarded $95 million to beef up 278 school-based health centers around the country. As you can see above, the Massachusetts share amounts to about $3 million — nice work, grant writers!

From the HHS release:

The awardees are currently serving approximately 790,000 patients. Today’s awards will enable them to increase their capacity by over 50-percent, serving an additional 440,000 patients. School-based health centers improve the overall health and wellness of all children through health screenings, health promotion and disease prevention activities and enable children with acute or chronic illnesses to attend school. A full list of grantees is available at

“These new investments will help school-based health centers establish new sites or upgrade their current facilities to keep our children healthy,” said Secretary Sebelius. “These new or improved sites will help ensure effective, efficient, and high-quality care.”

“We know that if kids aren’t healthy then kids can’t learn,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “These grants will make it a lot easier for working moms and dads to help get their children the health care they need and deserve. This unprecedented investment in school-based health care will bring communities closer together and help children succeed in the classroom.”

The Affordable Care Act appropriated a total of $200 million for 2010 through 2013 for the School-Based Health Center Capital Program to address capital needs in school-based health centers.

This program aired on July 14, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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Carey Goldberg Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.



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