Parents in Washington Heights Urge State Leaders to Exempt School-Based Health Centers from Further Cuts
Parents and community members to present Assemblymember Adriano Espaillat with letters asking leaders to maintain current funding for health resources in schools
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Offices of Assemblymember Adriano Espaillat,
210 Sherman Avenue (near 207th Street),
● State Assemblymember Adriano Espaillat
● Beverly Colon, R.P.A, Steering Committee member, the NYS Coalition for School-Based Health Centers
● Adria Cruz-Peña, School Health Services Manager, Children’s Aid Society
● Lorraine M. Tiezzi, Chair, Citywide Coalition for School-Based Health Centers
● parents from schools with school-based health centers
NEW YORK – Parents whose children use school-based health centers (SBHCs) in Washington Heights will present Assemblymember Adriano Espaillat with thousands of letters requesting that state leaders in Albany exempt these centers from further cuts to the state budget when the legislature reconvenes on November 18.
The letters will be presented by parents to Espaillat, who will deliver them to Albany himself. The Assembly-member has expressed his support for maintaining these vital school health resources in the community he represents.
Many of the parents have children who attend five Children’s Aid Society community schools in Washington Heights: P.S. 5, P. S. 8, Mirabal Sisters Campus (includes three middle schools), the Salomé Ureña de Henríquez Middle Academies Campus (three middle schools) and P.S. 152 (which does not have its own school-based health center, but which utilizes the SBHC at P. S. 5). These school-based health centers hosted 35,000 visits by students during the 2006-07 school year.
School-based health centers serve students regardless of insurance and immigration status. They provide medical, dental and mental health services. Many parents who cannot afford to visit private doctors use these centers to provide their children with routine as well as acute care. School-based health centers provide exams and immunizations to children, and help students manage chronic diseases, such as asthma and diabetes. When schools have SBHCs, students do not have to miss days of school to visit a doctor, and parents do not have to miss days of work. Schools with SBHCs send fewer students to the emergency room than schools that do not have these resources.