A Message from the Alliance Board Chair

Dear Alliance Members and Friends,

This year, a major event took place which has the potential for enormous implications for our work and for the communities that we serve—the election of Donald Trump. As with any major change in our lives, this has created concern and even anxiety among many of us as the uncertainty of a new political environment unfolds before us. Our school based health centers will continue to advocate for high quality health care for  all children and adolescents irrespective of race, sexual orientation, religion, or  immigration status.

 

The Alliance’s mission is to create access to comprehensive, high-quality primary care, including medical, mental, oral, and community health services, for all children and youth statewide through SBHCs. The Alliance achieves this by advocating for policies that promote the sustainability of SBHCs; promoting the delivery of high-quality services; raising awareness of the school-based health model; and promoting the growth and expansion of SBHCs. We have been very successful in executing our mission; today, more than 200,000 children in the state have access to school-based health services, and nearly 169,000 are enrolled in their SBHC.

School-based health centers have often faced adversity and, historically despite all odds, SBHCs have continued to grow and succeed in New York. The continued success and survival of SBHCs is the sole mission of the Alliance and I want to assure you on behalf of the Board of Directors that we will seek to keep you informed of any new developments and their implications and together with you and SBHCs across the state, develop strategies geared to succeeding in our new environment.

All of you and your organizations are the strength of the Alliance. In order to be effective in our joint advocacy for the children and families we serve through our SBHCs, all of us need to actively and genuinely reach out to our State Senate and Assembly Representatives in their local district offices to continue to spread the message of school health model. If you haven’t done so previously, a good way to start is to arrange a meet and greet either in the legislator’s local office or preferably, at one of your SBHC sites to demonstrate the care our children receive. There are a quite a few new freshman legislators coming in to the NYS Assembly and Senate, listed here, who may not have had the opportunity to know about school health previously, and this would be a great time to get to meet them. Find your representatives here: http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?sh=search and www.nysenate.gov.

In addition, we ask you to channel to us any information or ideas you may have, just as we ask for your continued dedication and we hope to see many of you at our Advocacy Day on February 7, 2017 in Albany. Together, we will succeed. Our patients and their families are too important to do otherwise.


Viju Jacob, MD, FAAP
Alliance Board Chair

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