Healthy Learners: Improving Access to Health Care at School

14 May 2019 Written by  

Healthy kids do better in school. Research shows that school-based care plays a critical role ensuring kids can stay healthy and learn. Thanks to collaboration and vision from our state leaders, Utah is making strides to help more children connect with care at school.

  • During the 2019 Legislative Session, schools received new funding to increase school-based mental health services, including school nurses. School nurses can help identify a mental health condition before it escalates and connect kids with appropriate care.
  • Utah is one of a handful of states currently exploring innovative ways to leverage Medicaid funding in schools. By leveraging Medicaid, schools could access additional funding to offer preventive health services such as dental care or mental health services.
  • Schools help enroll kids in affordable health insurance. School-based Medicaid/ CHIP outreach and enrollment support is one of the most important ways kids can connect with coverage. Learn more about getting enrollment support at your school!
  • School-based clinics, or school-based health programs, are critical ways to help kids access care. For example, school-based oral health programs help ensure kids get preventive dental care. Oral health pain is one of the top reasons kids miss school. New policies, such as teledentistry reimbursement, can ensure the long-term sustainability of school-based health care programs.

JessieJessie Mandle, Senior Health Policy Analyst, joined the organization in 2015. Prior to joining Voices for Utah Children, Jessie was a Senior Program Planner with the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families, where she focused on nutrition and Out of School Time areas. Jessie also worked as a policy researcher in Johannesburg, South Africa and oversaw a CDC grant for Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services in Portland, Oregon. Most recently, she worked with the Utah Department of Health and the Utah Cancer Action Network. Jessie has a Master's degree in Public Heath from Portland State University and a B.A. in Government from Wesleyan University in Connecticut.