SBHC History and DSHS Program

School-Based Health Center History

School-based health centers started in the 1970s with the first centers opening in Dallas, Texas and St. Paul, Minnesota. According to the 2016-17 SBHC census report (School-Based Health Alliance Census);  2,584 SBHCs were identified in 48 of 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The 2016-17 National School-Based Health Care Census [pdf] collected information on SBHC locations, staffing, services provided, populations served, telehealth services, and funding.

State funding has been a leading factor in the growth of school-based health centers, primarily through state general funds and the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant under Title V of the Social Security Act. States also have used other resources such as tobacco taxes and tobacco settlement dollars to fund school-based health centers.

The School-Based Health Alliance has more information on school-based health centers in the United States. 

School-Based Health Centers in Texas

Today, there are almost 90 school-based health centers serving the children of Texas as reported by the Texas Association of School-Based Health Centers. Most of these centers are in a permanent facility on a school campus. The centers all offer primary care. Other services vary by location and may include oral health, mental health, nutrition counseling, prevention, asthma management, as well as other services.  

DSHS Involvement in SBHCs

Similar to SBHCs across the nation, school-based health centers in Texas are funded through multiple sources including state and/or federal funds, private foundations, and third-party revenues. When available, current DSHS funding opportunities for SBHCs are found on the Contracting with HHS site with other DSHS funding opportunities.  

School-Based Health Center Reports

In the past, DSHS created a report every biennium of DSHS-funded centers during the previous two years. The report gave insight into general operations, populations served, and services provided with an increasing focus on student outcome measures.  

External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Texas Department of State Health Services. These sites may not be accessible to people with disabilities.