Reaching out to those who work at hospitals (or represent workers at those hospitals) that operate school based health centers – comprehensive health clinics in public schools that serve over 200,000 children across New York State. SBHCs serve all students, regardless of family residency or ability to pay.

Last year, budget cuts disproportionately penalized your centers, which were as high as 70% of total funding at some places. We scored a partial victory because the Governor’s budget did not cut SBHC funding any further. While this was a good outcome considering the tough budget environment, GNYHA has asked the Legislature to completely reverse the cuts. The total cost would be around $4 million.

There is good movement in both the Assembly and the Senate to restore this money—Health Committee Chair Dick Gottfried (D-Manhattan) and Sen. Marisol Alcantara (IDC-Manhattan) are spearheading letters to their colleagues urging them to include the extra funding in their one-house budgets. But we would like to amplify the message by highlighting some of the great people that work in the centers and what they’ve achieved through a Twitter campaign.

Right now we envision doing everything through the @GNYHA handle and tagging other groups (hospitals, unions, advocacy organizations, etc.) to make things easier, but we’re flexible. The hashtag will be #SaveSBHCs, which we’ve used in the past (see our last tweets:

We’ve put together the below draft Tweets as examples but we are open to working with you on anything that shows the value of the centers and why the Legislature should restore the funding. Visuals (pictures of the workforce at the SBHCs, for example) and interesting/impressive facts would be fantastic.

[Picture of center] Emergency dept. visits decreased by 95% after the @Hospital X SBHC at PS Y in Neighborhood Z opened its doors. Tell Albany: #SaveSBHCs in the NYS budget!

[Picture of care team] The team at @HospitalA SBHC at PS X in the Bronx includes NPs, physicians, & clerical staff from @1199SEIU/@nynurses. They provide comprehensive care to all children in the school regardless of ability to pay, but their funding was cut 45% last year. We urge Albany to #SaveSBHCs in the NYS budget!

[Picture of Jane Doe] Jane Doe is a nurse at the @HospitalB SBHC at PS X in Queens. She’s been working there for 5 years and is proud of the work she and her team do, but their funding was cut 65% last year. We urge Albany to #SaveSBHCs in the 2018-19 state budget.

A number of you have expressed interest in this idea—it’s a great way to highlight the good work your institutions/organizations are doing. We are hoping to influence the Assembly and Senate budgets, which are scheduled to come out March 14—so the sooner the better. The target for the tweets is the end of this week.

Let me know if you have any questions and thanks for your help securing funding for kids’ health,

Andrew Title
Senior Director, State Government Affairs