• Contact Us

    Texas School Health Program
    PO Box 149347, MC 1945
    Austin, TX 78714-9347
    1100 West 49th Street
    Austin, Texas 78756

    Phone: 512-776-7279
    Fax: 512-776-7555

    Email comments or questions to SchoolHealth@dshs.texas.gov

School-Based Health Centers

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Benefits of SBHCs  
 SBHC History and DSHS Program
 SBHC Resources

What is a School-Based Health Center (SBHC)?

A school-based health center is a facility providing preventive and primary health care services to children and adolescents conveniently located on or near a school campus. A SBHC is staffed by a multidisciplinary team that may include nurse practitioners, physicians, clinical social workers, psychologists, nutritionists, dentists, dental hygienists and/or administrators. While each SBHC is uniquely designed to meet the specific needs of the local community, there are many common characteristics. 

“It is a safe place for students.” –Texas School Administrator   

SBHCs are designed to:

  • Serve All Students: with a focus on underserved populations;
  • Reduce Health Inequities: thus improving student health;  School-Based Health Centers Interactive Map [Click image to open new window.]
  • Be accessible: with a convenient location in a familiar setting;
  • Provide High-Quality Primary Care: with a strong emphasis on prevention;  
  • Provide Chronic Disease Management: with an effort to decrease absences;
  • Ensure Continuity of Care: building relationships with students;
  • Develop Connectedness: referring students to community providers when diagnoses are beyond the scope of the SBHCs;
  • Be Culturally Sensitive: meeting the needs of the local population through community input; and
  • Support The Whole Child: addressing student success by collaborating with school nurses, teachers, parents, counselors, coaches, principals, and other school staff to reduce health-related barriers to achievement and promote healthy development. 

“As a parent and a teacher, I think it is an absolutely wonderful service being provided to students in our district.” –Texas Parent and Teacher  

SBHCs offer:

  • Immunizations
  • Well-child exams
  • Sports physicals
  • Acute care for minor illness and injury
  • Management of chronic illness 
  • Dental screenings, treatment, and referral
  • Mental health services 
  • Basic health education  

“In short, we need to go where the kids are. Children’s health and school performance are intertwined.” –Tina Cheng said when asked about the 2015 fully integrated school-based health center launched by the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. Cheng is pediatrician and director of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at Johns Hopkins. Read the article: On the Healthy Road to Academic Success. 

Additional SBHC Definitions and Supporting Organizations

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External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Texas Department of State Health Services. These sites may not be accessible to people with disabilities.  

Last updated July 8, 2021