779238Experts agree that children’s academic success is directly related to their health. When children are healthy, they attend class regularly and perform better in school, preparing them for a productive future.

Many of West Virginia’s school children require regular and ongoing health services during the day. School-based health centers were established to ensure that students’ health care needs are met and that barriers to learning are reduced. These centers are on-site, primary care clinics that provide both preventive and primary medical care, behavioral health services, health education, and dental care to children and adolescents where they are much of the day – in school. Clinics have reception areas, exam rooms, and labs and are usually staffed by a receptionist, a nurse, a nurse practitioner or a physician’s assistant under the supervision of a doctor.

In addition to funding services provided by school-based health centers, the Foundation also supports school-based preventive and behavioral health services to Catholic parochial schools in the Northern Panhandle of WV.

Since 2001 the Sisters of St. Joseph Health and Wellness Foundation has committed the majority of its available funding to the school-based health initiative. West Virginia has more than doubled the amount of school-based health centers since 2000.   There are approximately 146 school-based health centers in West Virginia.  As a partner in all of these efforts, the Sisters of St. Joseph Health and Wellness Foundation is having a positive impact on the school-based health movement in West Virginia.

In August, 2016 the West Virginia School-Based Health Assembly (WVSBHA) and the West Virginia Primary Care Association (WVPCA) announced a merger scheduled for December 1, 2016. The WVPCA and WVSBHA have worked collaboratively for many years to ensure that West Virginia’s children have access to health care and are now combined under the WVPCA in an effort to unify the voice of school-based health services and sustain the work that both organizations have been committed to for many years. The WVPCA will continue to strengthen training and technical assistance to all organizations that offer school-based health services while also continuing to advocate on behalf of the children in our state.

Learn More …

West Virginia Primary Care Association (School-Based Health)

School Based Health Programs in Wheeling and Weirton