School-Based Health Centers Take Root in Vermont, But on Rocky Ground

Making the Grade: State/Local Partnerships for School-Based Health Centers

From 1994 to 2001, the Vermont Agency of Human Services established a total of five school-based health centers (SBHCs) in four communities, and provided technical assistance to these and other centers providing school-linked and other health care services for children.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Making the Grade: State and Local Partnerships to Establish School-Based Health Centers national program.

Key Results: The Vermont Making the Grade project:

  • Selected partners in four communities (three rural towns and Burlington, the state's largest city) and helped them establish a total of five school-based health centers.
  • The state project office provided technical assistance to these communities, as well as providing school-linked and other health care services for children.
  • School-based health care was integrated into other projects to promote child health, such as school liaisons to help coordinate child health services.
  • State policies and programs were adjusted to allow school-based health centers to bill Medicaid for services, but this funding proved insufficient; when RWJF funding ended, the state commitment to ensuring the long-term sustainability of school-based health centers remained in question.