The Children's Aid Society Lauds Unprecedented Federal Support for Improving Children's Health

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School-Based Health Centers Receive Historic Boost from Health Care Reform Bill

NEW YORK, March 23, 2010 – The following is a statement by Richard R. Buery, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer, The Children’s Aid Society:

“This morning when President Obama signed the historic Affordable Health Care for America Act, he took great strides towards improving the health of all children in the U.S.

This momentous legislation provides the first federal funds for school-based health centers (SBHCs), which are health clinics located in schools and staffed with health professionals who provide primary health services to children in the schools. There are 2,000 SBHCs nationally, 214 in New York State and 130 here in New York City.

In New York City, The Children’s Aid Society maintains five school-based health centers in public community schools: in Washington Heights at the Salomé Ureña Middle Academies, at P.S. 5, at the Mirabal Sisters Campus, at P.S. 8 and in East Harlem at P.S./I.S. 50. These SBHCs provide medical, dental and mental health services. Dental services include exams and cleanings, fillings and, at Salome Ureña, orthodontic care. Our mental health professionals support students and their families throughout the year.

Medical care includes routine physical examinations, immunizations and vaccinations (including for flu), instruction for children who must manage chronic diseases such as diabetes and asthma and emergency care, including management of asthma attacks. From 2007 – 09, thanks to these services, 418 patients were treated at our SBHCs for asthma-related emergencies, but only 13 of these students had to be referred to emergency rooms; in schools without the SBHCs, the regular school nurse would have had to call 911 and send all of these students to emergency rooms at huge taxpayer cost.

We are thrilled that the federal Affordable Health Care for America Act supports school-based health centers and the health professionals who serve children every day.”

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The Children’s Aid Society is an independent, not-for-profit organization established to serve the children of New York City. Our mission is to provide comprehensive support for children in need, from birth to young adulthood, and for their families, to fill the gaps between what children have and what they need to thrive. Services are provided in community schools, neighborhood centers, health clinics and camps. For additional information, please call 212-949-4938, email ellenl@childrensaidsociety.org, or visit www.childrensaidsociety.org.