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School-based health centers get new grants.

About 200 school-based health centers received $80 million in federal grants in December.

Made possible by the Affordable Care Act, the funding will allow school-based health centers to serve an additional 384,000 students and continue an expansion of preventive and primary health care services, said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

"These new investments will help school-based health centers establish new sites or upgrade their current facilities to keep our children healthy," she said.

Studies have shown school-based health centers help decrease absenteeism, reduce unnecessary and costly emergency room visits and ensure quality and cost-effective care for students. Such clinics provide a combination of primary and mental health care, substance abuse counseling, dental care, nutrition education and more. The grants are providing "critically needed funding," said Linda Juszcak, DnSc, MPH, president of the National Assembly on School-Based Health Care, but she called for $50 million in operations funding that would help staff centers with nurses, mental health providers and administrators.

The Affordable Care Act provides $200 million in funding from fiscal years 2010-2013 for the School-Based Health Center Capital Program.

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Title Annotation:NATION IN BRIEF
Author:Currie, Donya
Publication:The Nation's Health
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2013
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