Letters to Federal & State Legislators — Provide Critical Funding to Support SBH Programs Through COVID-19

April 22, 2020

This week, the Alliance sent letters to Senator Blunt, Senator Hawley, and all Missouri congressional leaders urging them to provide critical funding to support the continued operations of school-based health (SBH) programs as Congress considers additional legislation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In partnership with the National School-Based Health Alliance and other State School-Based Health Affiliates, we recommended funding $100 million for a new grant program within the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support SBH programs.

A similar request was sent to key members of the Missouri House of Representatives and Senate in Jefferson City, including Representatives Haahr, Smith, and Wood and Senators Schatz, Hegeman, and Hough.

Both letters request additional funding that would provide critical support to preventing SBH program closures, expanding school-based health and mental health services, and preparing for school re-entry under the threat of a second peak of COVID-19 infections in the fall.

Specifically, SBH programs can provide critical supports to schools and communities to overcome numerous challenges associated with COVID-19, including:

  • Closing the immunization gap created by the current situation of providers not seeing patients in person and critical to re-opening schools;
  • Providing COVID testing if approved (or any other diagnostic testing);
  • Supporting the tracking of cases & quarantine efforts to reduce exposure & spread of COVID-19;
  • Providing preventative & urgent care to chronic health conditions (i.e. asthma), which reduces ED visits;
  • Providing medical supplies (PPEs, thermometers, etc.) that schools/school nurses cannot currently access;
  • Supporting the establishment of school cleaning & sanitizing procedures; and
  • Educating staff on the symptoms of COVID-19, helping to establish protocols for screening, assessing symptoms, & providing basic health education.

View the full letter to federal leaders here.

View the full letter to Missouri leaders here.