What is School-Based Health Care?

School-based health care programs are partnerships between schools and health care providers. Their objective: give students meaningful access to care in a location that is safe and convenient.

These partnerships are uniquely situated to bring health care professionals and educators together to address the multifaceted needs of children, youth, and families. Some serve only students, while others also serve family members or the broader community surrounding the school.

Programs offer a range of services with the most common being primary medical services. School-based health programs are as individual as the clients they serve and are supported by many communities because they respond to local needs. Local school boards give final approval over what services are provided. The “who” of the care team may vary, based on complexity of students’ needs and availability of community resources. Some sites may have one primary care practitioner. Others offer a robust array of medical, nursing, and mental health staff – even oral and eye health. No matter the configuration, the team brings its expertise, resources and authority to improve the physical, social, emotional and behavioral health of students.

In alignment with the national School-Based Health Alliance, there are four types of school-based health programs that exist in districts throughout Missouri.

School-Based Health Centers

School-Based Health Center programs are partnerships between schools and health providers that deliver comprehensive health care through a fixed site on a school campus.

School-Linked Health Care

School-Linked Health Care programs are formally or informally linked with schools to coordinate and promote health care for students on a fixed site near the school campus.

Mobile Health Care

Mobile Health Care programs rotate a health care team through a number of schools, including mobile van/bus/clinic on wheels etc. that park on or near school property/campus without a fixed site.


Telemedicine programs deliver 100% of school-based health care services using telemedicine technology.