Billionaires Melinda French Gates (the ex-wife of Bill Gates) and MacKenzie Scott (the ex-wife of Jeff Bezos), recently invested $23 million in the School-Based Health Alliance (SBHA), the national nonprofit behind school-based health centers (SBHCs), in order to advance "health equity."
Prior to the $23 million cash injection, the SBHA took in just under $3.7 million in revenue, with $1.9 million of that coming straight from government grants.
Pivotal Ventures was founded by Gates in oder to "accelerate social progress in the United States by removing barriers that hold people back."
The organization aims to use philanthropic grant-making, private investments, partnerships, and advocacy in order to drive social change and "to achieve common goals."
The Connecticut Association of School-Based Health Care is part of the School-Based Health Alliance.
It counts nearly two dozen health care organizations around the state as members, including Family Centers in Stamford, the Hartford Board of Education, Fair Haven Community Health Center in New Haven and more.
Connecticut's SBHCs are comprehensive primary health care facilities licensed as outpatient clinics or as hospital satellites. They are located within or on school grounds and serve students in grades pre-K through grade 12. SBHCs can be staffed with pediatric and adolescent health specialists, including nurse practitioners, physician assistants, social workers, physicians and in some cases, dentists and dental hygienists.
An SBHC is not the same as the nurse's office, and school nurses often refer students to the SBHC for treatment. SBHCs can also bill direct to Medicaid, HUSKY A & B, and private commercial health insurance plans for services for those children whose parents enroll in the SBHC program.
There are 316 centers listed in the Connecticut Association of SBHC's Mapping Tool.
The SBHA is on a mission to grow the number and expand the services of SBHCs nationally.
Curiously, the SBHA lists "vaccinations" as one of the "healthy benefits" offered in health centers. Of course, many people who recently woke up about the dangers posed by vaccination, especially after watching numerous serious and deadly issues with experimental covid vaccines, would argue that vaccinations are not a "healthy benefit".
One of the guiding principles adopted by the SBHA is that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is "at the core" of the work in helping students, families, communities, and schools. So, the health center "initiates conversations to ensure DE&I are at the forefront of critical decisions."
Health centers intentionally offer professional development training on cultural humility, implicit bias, cultural considerations, and so forth, too.
It almost seems like equity is the most important part of health care.
Critics of in-school heath centers warn that services could potentially be obtained by students without parental knowledge and/or consent, an especially big concern among parents and caregivers who want to make sure their children never ever get a covid shot, for instance.