PORTLAND, Ore. — Kaiser Permanente Northwest has awarded a total of $650,000 to eight organizations to improve the health of our region’s youth by increasing capacity of school-based health centers.
A school-based health center is a vital community resource and an integral part of our regional health care system. SBHCs provide comprehensive health services to young people in a trusted and familiar environment — their schools. SBHCs can be a one-stop location for primary care, mental health, oral health and health prevention services.
“The need in our region is great — we know that communities without school-based health centers have higher rates of school absenteeism and more limited access to health care services for children and youth,” said Daniel Field, senior director of Community Benefit with Kaiser Permanente. “Healthy kids are more likely to attend school ready to learn, and one way to keep kids healthy is through our school-based health centers.”
Funds will support two priority areas:
- Capacity-building projects: Funding will support the planning and development of new SBHCs in communities without them in collaboration with local schools, public health departments, medical organizations and community-based organizations that provide health services. These grants are limited to $40,000 per site over 18 months.
- Behavioral health projects: In communities with existing SBHCs, funding will support behavioral health projects that increase the centers’ capacity to address mental health and substance abuse issues among school-age children and youth. Projects include prevention, treatment and coordination activities. These grants are limited to $150,000 over three years.
Priority areas were selected based on a comprehensive process, including a needs assessment conducted in partnership with the Oregon School-Based Health Alliance and meetings with key community stakeholders to learn about the challenges facing SBHCs.
The full list of grant recipients follows:
- Cowlitz Family Health Center ($40,000) — planning for a new SBHC in Longview, Wash.
- Outside In ($40,000) — planning for a new SBHC for the North Clackamas School District, representing Clackamas, Happy Valley and Milwaukie, Ore.
- Polk County ($40,000) — outreach and education to support a new SBHC for the Central School District, representing Independence and Monmouth, Ore.
- Portland Public Schools ($40,000) — planning for a new SBHC at Benson High School in Portland, Ore.
- Public Health Foundation of Columbia County ($40,000) — planning for a new SBHC in Scappoose, Ore.
- Tigard-Tualatin School District ($150,000) — support for mental health care coordination across the Tigard-Tualatin School District in Washington County, Ore.
- Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation ($150,000) — behavioral health services at the Forest Grove SBHC in Washington County, Ore.
- Volunteers of America ($150,000) — behavioral health services at the Milwaukie SBHC in Clackamas County, Ore.
To learn more about Kaiser Permanente Northwest’s investment in the community, including our commitment to health and wellness in schools, please visit: kp.org/communitybenefit/nw.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and nonprofit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 9.3 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia, including more than 495,000 people in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.