In the fall of 2020, Representative Monica Stonier (49th District) convened a School-Based Health Center (SBHC) Work Group in partnership with the Washington School-Based Health Alliance (WA SBHA). The work group brought together over 30 state-level SBHC stakeholders including legislators from both parties, state agencies, and associations representing families, schools and health care. The work group identified challenges to the expansion and sustainability of the SBHC model statewide, and made recommendations for how to address these challenges, documented in the SBHC Work Group’s final report.
Legislation was proposed as a first step in advancing the recommendations identified by the work group. In 2021, the Washington State Legislature passed SHB 1225, which established a state school-based health center (SBHC) program office at the Washington State Department of Health (DOH). This office was established with the objective “to expand and sustain the availability of school-based health center services to K-12 students in public schools, with a focus on historically underserved populations.” The program will provide grants to SBHCs statewide and partner to provide training and technical assistance.
The Washington School-Based Health Alliance is partnering with the Department of Health to provide SBHC subject matter expertise in development of the program and to provide training and technical assistance to SBHCs across Washington.
In January 2023, an updated Attorney General Opinion (AGO) on the “Authority of School Districts Regarding Health Care Clinics” was released. Read the 2023 AGO here.