Crossposted from Best Starts Blog
Children and young people have better health outcomes and overall well-being when they can routinely access care for their mental, behavioral, emotional and physical health. One way Best Starts is working to reduce barriers for young people to accessing health services is by funding School Based Health Centers (SBHC).
These health centers are student-focused to promote young people seeking care, while also cultivating nurturing and safe environments where young people can build relationships with trusted adults and with healthcare systems.
We are excited to announce our two awardees:
Sea Mar Community Health Centers to build and operate a school-based health center at Auburn Mountainview High School in the Auburn School District. Sea Mar is being awarded $357,000 annually and an additional one-time $350,000 capital grant so they can build a new health center at Mountainview. This will be Sea Mar’s first SBHC in King County.
HealthPoint to implement a new school-based health center at Highline High School. HealthPoint is being awarded $357,000 annually to operate the Highline SBHC.
Sea Mar has expertise in reaching and supporting Latinx/a/o communities with culturally competent care. In their application Sea Mar expressed commitment to reaching young people from under resourced communities, including young people who are immigrants, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+.
In a statement provided by Sea Mar they said, “Sea Mar Community Health Centers began providing community-centered healthcare over 40 years ago because critical populations, such as migrant Latino families and communities of color, were denied equitable access to services. As community health providers, we place top priority on providing equitable and quality health care for all ages, incomes and communities. Sea Mar’s newest collaboration to provide a school-based health center at Mountainview Highschool in Auburn will further this mission to break down healthcare barriers for youth, particularly low income BIPOC youth, by serving them directly in their school with trusted providers who specialize in culturally and age-appropriate care. We’re grateful to King County’s Best Start for Kids’ support of this project.”
HealthPoint is an ongoing partner with Best Starts and is dedicating the funding to expanding health care–including mental health resources, vaccinations, and other care to address their physical, emotional, and social wellness–to the young people at Highline.
In a statement provided by HealthPoint they said: “HealthPoint is thrilled to be working again with Highline School District to open a school-based health center (SBHC) in the newly-remodeled Highline High School. Highline serves a very diverse community, including many newcomers to the United States. Having an SBHC in the school will increase access to sports physicals, behavioral health care, vaccinations and much more! HealthPoint staff are eager to start getting to know students and other members of this community to build an SBHC that serves their needs in ways that are meaningful to them.”
Through the pandemic young people have been vocal on their need for improved mental health supports. Sea Mar and HealthPoint will be using their expertise and holistic approach to connect with students and provide a broad range of care. These two new SBHC join a King County network of nearly 40 SHBCs serving thousands of children and young adults each year.