Why NM Legislators Should Vote for HB 65
Summary: HB 65 would allocate $2 million from the general fund to the Department of Health for expenditure in fiscal year 2021 for school-based health clinic services and to start new school-based health clinics, including mobile clinic services.
Why This Bill Is Good for New Mexico
The most recent Kids Count report ranked New Mexico 50th (last) in the nation in child well-being. New Mexico currently has more than 80 school-based health centers (SBHCs), which provide quality health services to students where the students are––in school. These centers are an important safety net, providing easily accessible health care when, in many cases, students wouldn’t receive care anywhere else. This is especially the case in low-income rural communities.
- According to the Kids Count Survey, NM ranks 48th in child health, 49th in child well-being and 50th in education.
- Five counties in NM do not have ANY SBHCs, and out of the 20 most populous cities, seven do not have SBHCs.
- Fifty-six SBHCs in NM are funded by Dept. of Health (DOH)/Public Education Dept. (PED) contracts, 27 other SBHCs are funded by private organizations, so NM is getting a good deal on its investments.
- DOH/PED is historically understaffed and as a result, it can only fund 65% of requested services. In short, there is a desperate need for these services that HB 65 would address.
- SBHCs provide quality health care services such as: immunizations, asthma management, diabetes management, and reproductive and sexual health services.
- SBHCs provide quality behavioral health services such as: grief therapy, help with peer pressure and bullying, substance abuse treatment, and suicide prevention.
- SBHCs make sure students who don’t get medical treatment anywhere else can receive it at school.
- SBHCs give students medical attention when they need it, catching problems like asthma and diabetes early and preventing bigger problems later.
- Most importantly, SBHCs keep students healthy and in class so they can learn what they need to know to succeed in life.
Supporting Organizations (list will be updated as we identify others)
NM Voices for Children