KUNM

N.M. Could Boost School Health Center Funding

Mar 5, 2019

 

School-based health centers provide basic health care to students across the state. Several communities have lost theirs due to budget cuts over the last few years.

But some advocates are optimistic that these health care hubs could be revitalized this session.

There are 73 of these health centers in schools across New Mexico that provide things like physical exams and counseling for students and their families. Nancy Rodriguez leads the New Mexico Alliance for School-Based Health Care.

 

“The school-based health centers, where they are, are doing an amazing job trying to help children and families deal with those issues so they can be ready to learn,” Rodriguez said.

 

Studies have shown that students who have this resource tend to have better health care access overall. Rodriguez said these centers can be especially helpful for communities with low incomes.

 

“Do I wish there were more because there is great need? Absolutely,” she said.

There's $1.5 million to help fund existing centers and to establish new ones in the budget the state House passed. That budget still needs approval by the state Senate and the governor.

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Support for KUNM’s Public Health New Mexico project comes from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, and from KUNM listeners like you.