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February 2003

School-Based Health CentersA Long Road to Travel

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003;157(2):118-119. doi:10.1001/archpedi.157.2.118

The problem with children is that they cannot lend you a truly interesting sum of money.—Fran Leibowitz, Metropolitan Life, 1988

HERE IS THE interesting but frustrating point about school-based health centers: For the past 20 years, the centers have expanded from a handful of projects in the early 1980s to 1500 nationwide in the school year 2001–2002 (State Survey of School-Based Health Centers, 2002. Washington, DC: Center for Health and Health Care in Schools, The George Washington University; unpublished data). Professional organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (Elk Grove Village, Ill), the Society for Adolescent Medicine (Blue Springs, Mo), the National Association of School Nurses (Castle Rock, Colo), and the American School Health Association (Kent, Ohio) have all adopted positions supporting the centers and their capacity to overcome barriers to health care for underserved children.13 Research studies have indicated that the centers improve children's access to care and reduce costs.47 Now, in a study in this month's ARCHIVES, Webber and colleagues8 suggest the potential for better clinical outcomes for children through school-based interventions.

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