School-Based Health Center (SBHC)

School-Based Health Centers (SBHC) provide basic physical, mental, dental or other services as needed. The health center provides services beyond the scope of the school nurse practice and is not intended to replace the school nurse. The school-based health center is required to maintain a working relationship with the physician of a child's medical home, to ensure that individual patient health plans are executed effectively and efficiently. Students can apply for ARKids and local resources connected to the health center for students and family convenience. The intent is for the center to act as a resource center for wellness and prevention. Typical characteristics of a SBHC are as follows:

  •  Located in the school or on school grounds.
  •  Work cooperatively within the school to become an integral part of the school.
  •  Provide a comprehensive range of services that meet the specific physical and behavioral health needs of the young people in the community.
  •  Employ a multidisciplinary team of providers to care for the students: nurse practitioners, registered nurses, physician assistants, social workers, physicians, alcohol and drug counselors, and other health professionals.
  •  Provide clinical services through a qualified health provider such as a hospital, health department, or medical practice.
  •  Require parents to sign written consents for their children to receive the full scope of services provided at the SBHC.
  •  Have an advisory board consisting of community representatives, parents, youth, and family organizations, to provide planning and oversight.

(courtesy of National Assembly on School-Based Health Care)

Arkansas' School-Based Health Center Grant Funding

The Arkansas School-Based Health Center Grant is a competitive application process made possible and supported by Arkansas' Governor Mike Beebe and the Arkansas Tobacco Excise Tax created by Arkansas Act 180 of 2009. The funds are to be used to promote health, wellness, and academic achievement in Arkansas' public schools. The program is a collaboration of the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Office of School Health Services (SHS), Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) and Medicaid In the Schools (ARMITS).

Eligible Applicants

All Arkansas public and charter schools are eligible to apply, unless the district is a current school-based health center funding recipient. Only one school-based health center per district may be funded by the DESE during a five year funding cycle.

Grant/Award Guidelines

Applicants intending to create a new health center on school campus may apply for up to $150,000. The SBHC grant recipients will receive an annual distribution of funds for a five year period, decreasing amounts each year.  Annual renewal is based on a review of annual progress and appropriation of Tobacco Excise Tax funding.

Applicants should carefully read the guidelines for the grant. Grantees must adhere to the SBHC grant guidelines, the ARSBHC recommendations and the Arkansas School Based Mental Health manual.  See the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities at  for facility guidance.

Prerequisite of Funding

Full-time equivalent registered nurse employed by school district (school nurse)

For more information, please contact:

Hannah Branton, Grants Manager
Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Elementary and Secondary Education
School Health Services
Four Capitol Mall, Mail Slot #14
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: 501-683-3604
Fax: 501-682-4886
Dana Bennett, MITS Regional Advisor, RN
Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Elementary and Secondary Education
School Health Services
Phone: 479-495-1469
Dr. Betsy Kindall, AWARE State Project Coordinator
Arkansas Department of Education
OUR Educational Cooperative
P.O. Box 610
Valley Springs, AR 72682

Phone: 870-302-3094

Amy Davidson, School-Based Health Center Advisor, RN
Arkansas Department of Health
4815 W. Markham St., Slot 63
Little Rock, AR 72205
Office: 501-683-6639 Cell: 501-257-0615

Cheria McDonald, State School Nurse Consultant, BSN, RN, NCSN
Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Elementary and Secondary Education
School Health Services
Four Capitol Mall, Mail Slot #14
Little Rock, AR 72201
Office: 501-683-3586



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