About the SBHC Program

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s School-Based Health Center (SBHC) Program began in 1987 with Maternal and Child Health federal funding. From 1994–2001, the program was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Making the Grade national program and was awarded a total of $2.3 million. The program also received a total of $1 million from The Colorado Trust from 2008-2011. The program was established in state statute (C.R.S. 25-20.5-501-503) in 2006 and received an initial appropriation of $500,000 (Fiscal Year 2007). The following year, state funding increased to just under a million dollars and remained there until Fiscal Year 2014 when it increased to approximately $5.2 million. 

The vast majority of funds are allocated to local school-based health centers in the form of grants, clinical quality improvement resources, and technical assistance and support to improve sustainability practices. The SBHC Program provides grants to school-based health centers with priority given to centers that serve a disproportionate number of uninsured children
or a low-income population or both. The statute directs the SBHC Program to award grants to: 

  1. Establish new school-based health centers. 
  2. Expand primary health, behavioral health services, including education, intervention, and prevention services for opioid, alcohol, and marijuana, and other substance use disorders, or oral health services offered by existing school-based health centers. 
  3. Provide support for ongoing operations of school-based health centers.

The SBHC Program also partners with other state agencies and grant programs to expand the services available in school-based health centers. Through a partnership with the Colorado Department of Human Services, the SBHC Program receives funding to implement adolescent substance use screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT). The SBIRT-SBHC Project funding comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) federal substance use treatment block grant.

The SBHC Program also partners with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Oral Health Unit to implement the School-Based Oral Health Project. This project strengthens the capacity of participating school-based health centers to develop and/or expand the practice of implementing school-based oral health as a standard of care. 

Fiscal Year 2022-2023 SBHC Program grantees

The SBHC Program currently funds 54 operating school-based centers and 4 planning sites throughout Colorado.

Fiscal Year 2020-2021 SBHC Program annual brief

Read details about the program, its future, and see current data regarding Colorado school-based health centers.

Read the current issue of the SBHC Program Update, or search the archives of our quarterly program newsletter.
Partner organizations