Advocating for what you believe in is important – especially if affects the lives of millions of children across New York State.
On February 7th, Whitney Young Health staff and board members attended the New York School-Based Health Advocacy Day at the Empire State Plaza along with hundreds of other students, teachers and health professionals from all across the state to advocate for School-Based Health Centers (SBHC). Advocacy day is a chance to meet with local and state elected officials to stress how crucial funding school-based health centers is and without them, these children would go without proper healthcare. It was also a chance to connect with the elected officials and educate them about our organization and how we make a difference right in their own backyard.
School Based Health Centers hold a special importance in achieving Whitney Young Health’s mission as we are currently inside three elementary schools in the Albany City School District: Giffen Memorial Elementary School, Philip Schuyler Achievement Academy and Sheridan Preparatory Academy. Our school-based health centers provide comprehensive and coordinated primary and preventive health services, including routine management of chronic diseases like asthma. We also provide immunizations, mental health counseling, and lab tests and screenings to detect illnesses.
Providing these services right in the schools allow the students to have their illnesses detected early so they don’t have to be sent home if not necessary or have to wait to get an appointment with their primary care physician and end up being absent from school for a number of days. It also brings convenience to the parents as they don’t have to take off time from work since the children are seen right in their school. Over 70% of students in these three schools are signed up to use the school-based health centers when needed; however, everyone attending those schools is eligible.
To read more about this year’s School-Based Health Advocacy Day agenda and what is specifically being addressed this year, click here.