The New York State Department of Health (Department) Bureau of Child Health (BCH) would like to thank our dedicated School-Based Health Center (SBHC) providers for your ongoing response efforts to the spread of COVID-19. As more schools and public venues are closing due to this outbreak, we recognize that SBHC clinics may also need to temporarily suspend operations. We would like to take this opportunity to remind SBHC staff of the appropriate steps to be taken when temporarily closing a clinic.
SBHC programs should be planning now to ensure there is appropriate language for distribution to patients and families as soon as possible if a determination to temporarily close a clinic is made. Coordination with school administrators will be key and SBHC programs should ensure collaboration is occurring whenever possible to distribute any notifications along with those provided by the school. These communications must include:
- Information about where a child can access care while the SBHC is not in operation.
- Information about who the primary contact for the SBHC will be during the closure to address how medical records can be accessed if necessary as well as answering any questions or concerns from parents and caregivers.
- If the SBHC holds any medications for patients that will be needed by the student during the closure, there must be a plan communicated for returning medications to the student/family.
As noted above, SBHC programs should also be notifying BCH of any temporary closures. This communication should identify which site(s) are being closed as well as whether the above documentation requirements have been met. Please send this information and any questions to your program’s contract manager at BCH as well as:
SBHCreports@health.ny.gov for SBHCs providing medical services
SBHC-Dreports@health.ny.gov for SBHCs providing only dental services
This notice is going to all SBHCs across NYS. SBHCs in NYC are receiving additional information specific to the NYC school system. We are doing our best to coordinate messages, but please do not hesitate to reach out to your contract manager with any questions.