As a kid, I spent my fair share of time in the school nurse’s office. Unfortunately, being asthmatic and overly prone to sickness wasn’t an ideal combination. Fast-forward 10 years, I’m now an intern at NCQA and promoting their recognition program for School-Based Medical Homes (SBMH). Learning all about this new recognition program brings back so many memories, I feel I’ve come full circle. It’s rather fitting that I’m taking part in the celebration of February’s School-Based Health Care Awareness Month.
NCQA’s mission for SBMHs is ensuring that all children, no matter their zip code, have access to quality care. This is a topic that many of us can get behind, so let’s talk about it.
The SBMH recognition program is a model to evaluate how community’s school-based health centers (SBHC) are shaping up across the nation. Whether they are providing preventative care or urgent care to a child, it’s important to us that the care is quality. Therefore, we are proud to be the nation’s only SBMH recognition program.
Quality Health Care for Students
The School-Based Health Alliance reported in their 2013-14 census that there were nearly 2,300 SBHCs in 49 of the 50 states. Take that number and imagine how many thousands of children, and in some cases entire families, that benefitted from those school health centers. Through partnerships and government grants, these centers are reaching those in need of care. Many of these SBMHs have changed the way care is delivered and in turn, changed the conversation in many communities. So, take part in celebrating February’s School-Based Health Care Awareness month by checking out the program that NCQA is so proud to offer.
Then and Now: Completing the Circle
For me, these programs meant that I was getting the care I deserved without taking my parents away from their work. They could trust that the care I, or any other child for that matter received was timely, comprehensive, and above all, quality.
Colleen is a student studying journalism at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Currently, she is a Communications Intern at NCQA. She is working closely with the Communications and Marketing team on content production.