Health reform supporting school clinics


CORRECTION: The original script for this report misstated the amount of funding the new federal health care law provides for school-based health clinics. The amount is $200 million. The script has been corrected.


TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: A lot of young students in low-income neighborhoods have health problems that affect their ability to learn -- like poor vision, malnutrition, hyperactivity. So some of these communities are setting up health centers where kids spend a lot of their time: at school. And the new health care law provides more money for these school-based clinics. From our health desk at WHYY in Philadelphia, Gregory Warner reports.


Gregory Warner: Josh Chapman is a sophomore at Central High School in Kansas City, Mo.:

JOSH CHAPMAN: When I have migraines, I just kind of lay down in class and go to sleep a little bit.

When kids get sick in class they can't learn. And outside the school, they may not have access to good health care.

CAROLYN KRAMER: When you're in a school you can go to the school nurse and they say you need to go to the doctor. Soon as they leave that building, the chances of them getting to the doctor, like, plunge.

Carolyn Kramer runs a program in Seattle that brought medical clinics inside the high schools and middle schools. In the two years since the program started, she says, absenteeism is down. So are disciplinary problems.

There are now 2,000 school-based health centers across the country. The health care reform bill commits $200 million to the effort. Again, Carolyn Kramer.

KRAMER: If we can treat them in the school, and they can get the help right there and right away.

And it's not just kids getting care in the centers. Sometimes, it's parents too.

In Philadelphia, I'm Gregory Warner for Marketplace.

About the author

Gregory Warner is a senior reporter covering the economics and business of healthcare for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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