The Maine Department of Education (DOE) and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) are currently planning for the expansion of School-Based Health Centers (SBHC) across the state with the use of one-time federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding. A School-Based Health Center is a student-focused health center located in a school where students can receive integrated medical, behavioral health, and where feasible, additional healthcare services such as dental care. School-Based Health Centers are created with community support through collaborations between health care providers and local school districts. This funding would be targeted toward infrastructure with an emphasis on developing Centers in underserved areas.  

On behalf of Commissioners Makin and Lambrew, we are excited about the possibilities of this work and the opportunity to improve health equity and access, including increased access to mental health services and supports in our schools. School-Based Health Centers have proven to provide many benefits to participating schools including improved physical and mental health and educational outcomes.  

Establishing a SBHC is truly a collaboration between healthcare providers and local school districts.  The slides within the School Based Health Center Expansion Stakeholder Deck demonstrate how the additional funds will be used to make this expansion possible.  The expansion is grant funded and school administrative units will need to look to and with local health partners to generate these grants.  The monies are available through 2024, so the thinking and planning for this possible expansion needs to begin soon.  Should you have questions, please reach out to one of us.

Sarah Squirrell, MS
(she, her, hers) Senior Advisor, School Based Health
Commissioner’s Office
Department of Health and Human Services
109 Capitol St.
Augusta, Maine 04333
Phone: 207-592-6406   

Mary Herman, Ed.M
she, her, hers)
Special Projects
Office of the Commissioner
Maine Department of Education
23 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333
Phone: 207-485-5743