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Moore Addresses School-Based Health Centers

Faculty and staff members of Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School surround students (third from the left) Brooke Sauriol, Stephanie Coffin, Sen. Richard T. Moore, D-Uxbridge, and Oscar DeLaRosa.



On the heels of February's School-Based Health Center Awareness Month, the Massachusetts Association for School-Based Health Care (SBHC) and supporters from across the state converged on the State House today to underscore the need for continued funding for 37 state-funded school-based health centers. State Sen. Richard T. Moore, D-Uxbridge, delivered the keynote address to the crowd – many of which were students & faculty of Blackstone Valley Regional Technical Vocational High School (BVRT).

"School-based health centers help to keep students physically and emotionally healthy and ready to learn.  In the district that I serve, I encouraged Dr. Fitzpatrick some years ago to establish Blackstone Valley Tech's school-based health center in cooperation with the Milford Regional Medical Center," said Moore. "It has succeeded beyond our expectations and is a model for providing quality health services to students.  We must work to find additional resources to retain those we have and to support additional school-based health centers throughout the state" stated Moore.

Three students from Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School addressed the crowd as well. Oscar DeLaRosa, Stephanie Coffin and Brooke Sauriol spoke about integral services offered by school based health centers such as basic primary care services including prevention, diagnosis, referrals and follow ups; confidential mental health services and dental services.

Blackstone Valley Tech School Based Health Center (SBHC) provides on-site medical, nutrition, and mental health case management services. The Health Center operates in conjunction with Milford Regional Medical Center and offers convenient, teen friendly services in a confidential manner and is operational while school is in session.

Their goal is to treat and to prevent health and social problems that often interfere with academic success. Students can use the Health Center to receive preventative health care or treatment for acute/minor illnesses, psychological and emotional support.

There are 37 school-based health centers in Massachusetts that are state-funded, which delivers quality health care to more than 70,000 schoolchildren annually. SBHCs provide critical services without concern for students' ability to pay in a location that meets young people where they are: at school. Due to a lack of sustainable funding, these students could lose access to vital health and mental health services– affecting their ability to excel physically, emotionally, and academically.

The Massachusetts Association for School-Based Health Care is the statewide organization dedicated to promoting the health and academic success of children and youth by increasing access to school-based health care and support services by: advocating for public policies that support school-based health care; building support for school-based health care among educators, policymakers, community leaders, parents and students. For more information please visit, www.ma4sbhc.org.




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