New York’s school-based health centers (SBHCs) historically have lacked statewide data available to other health care providers that would allow them to identify gaps in care, document outcomes, improve operations, advocate for their work, or operate in an evidence-based world. In 2018 the New York School-Based Health Foundation and the New York School-Based Health Alliance set out to address this critical need, obtaining the support of several private foundations and joining with Apex Evaluation to build a New York State SBHC Statewide Data Hub.
The first step was a needs assessment and feasibility analysis, followed by the decision to launch a pilot program. Consequently, multiple sponsoring organizations in New York now submit visit data to the Data Hub and regularly receive a suite of standardized data reports. Apex helps multiple sponsor organizations to prepare and submit required state quarterly reports, allowing them to reinvest hours of manual work back into the care of their students.
This report on New York SBHCs is a first. It shows data from the 2020-2021 school year—the first full year of data collection—from the first five participating SBHC sponsoring organizations. These five organizations represent 20% of all SBHC sites in New York, a number that increased to 33% of all sites in year two of the pilot program. The report suggests just one of the many powerful uses of the Data Hub to strengthen New York SBHCs, and our goal is to eventually serve all school-based health centers in the state.