School Health Centers Could Face Cuts

School health centers found right outside of the classroom could face significant cuts. 

“A child that sees a school nurse with a stomach ache or headache, if it doesn’t go away on its own, probably ends up going home from school,” Jane Hylan, director of school-based health services for Community Health Center Inc, said. “If they come to the nurse practitioner, the nurse practitioner can treat, diagnose and prescribe.”

There are more than 90 of these centers all across Connecticut. For students like New Britain High School senior Yasmel Sanchez, the medical, behavioral and dental services they provide have proven invaluable.

"I think it’s a really good program in the schools and they should expand it," Sanchez said.

Under Governor Dannel Malloy’s proposed budget, a ten percent cut in funding could hit school-based health centers.

“There was a slight reduction, the state has fiscal problems and one thing you need to also understand, they are getting higher reimbursement rates,” Malloy said.

Like Hylan, Holly Fortier helps to run several school based health centers.

“This would be detrimental to the majority of students,” Fortier said.

“It could mean some locations may have to close or they may have shortened days,” Hylan said.

The governor said standing by the savings does not mean he is standing against the centers.

“We’re a very small part of the overall funding to those centers,” Malloy said. “Those centers are doing great work and we support it.”

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