Senator Velmanette Montgomery and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz’s legislation (S4487-B/A2660-B) to create a personal income tax check-off box for donations to the school-based health centers fund passes Senate. The bill passed the Assembly in March and now awaits consideration by Governor Cuomo.
As a longtime proponent of School Based Health Centers (SBHCs), Senator Montgomery is proud to sponsor legislation that would create a funding stream to support school-based health centers throughout New York State. The "school-based health centers fund" would be managed by the State Comptroller and be used by the New York State Department of Health to fund the expansion of medical services at existing school based health sites or to establish new sites. School-based health centers are vital community health providers that work on the front lines to bring comprehensive primary medical care, dental care and mental health services to children and adolescents in the school setting where they spend at least one-third of their day.
New York State has the most SBHCs in the nation and more than 2/3 of all SBHCs are located in New York City. The State’s 252 SBHCs provide primary and preventative care services to over 200,000 children in an environment that is convenient and familiar to them. Over 60% of SBHCs have fulltime mental health services, and many provide dental and vision services.
For school-age children and youth in high need areas, School Based Health Clinics are the first line of defense against costly hospitalizations because they provide preventive services for such chronic conditions as epileptic seizures, asthma, diabetes, gastroenteritis, urinary tract infections, nutritional deficiencies, and pelvic inflammatory disease. Mental health services offered at some of these clinics have produced significant declines in depression and improvements in wellness.
The youth served by SBHCs are primarily of color (44% served are Hispanic or Latino & 31% are Black or African American), often from low-income households, many are undocumented and many are uninsured.
To learn more about Senator Montgomery's work on School Based Health, visit: