- Sara Anderson, PhD, MA
- Kelli Caseman, MA
- Simon F. Haeder, PhD
Research Project Description
Children in West Virginia display some of the worst health outcomes in the country and experience challenges in accessing high-quality health care. Over one quarter of children live in poverty and one third of children live with obesity. School-based health centers (SBHC’s) are a mechanism to provide reliable health care in a location most children find themselves daily – their local school. SBHCs provide services including preventative and immediate care, behavioral health care, and sometimes dental care. However, little is known about the efficacy of SBHC’s in serving children in rural communities and having a positive impact on their health. This research proposes to investigate the characteristics of effective and ineffective SBHC’s, focusing on how their features relate to children’s health and wellbeing. In the first phase of the project, the research team will conduct site visits, interviews, and focus groups to examine the diverse features of SBHC’s. Second, the team will conduct surveys of parents and other stakeholders and collect administrative data from Medicaid and schools to understand how perceptions and features of SBHC’s relate to children’s health and academic outcomes. The findings from this research project will be used by researchers, the West Virginians for Affordable Health Care and their wide network of partner organizations, health care providers, and state policymakers to improve the quality of care provided by SHBCs and, in turn, advance a culture of health in communities across West Virginia.
Sara Anderson, PhD, MA
Sara Anderson is a Senior Researcher at Child Trends. She studies pre-K, child care, and residential mobility, with a specific focus on children in rural areas and on informing public policy.
Kelli Caseman, MA
Kelli Caseman is both the Executive Director and a founding member of Think Kids. She began working in the nonprofit sector in 1999, advocating for public education, then for kids’ health issues since 2004. Most recently, she served as the Executive Director of the West Virginia School-Based Health Assembly, and as the Director of Child Health for West Virginians for Affordable Health Care.
Simon F. Haeder, PhD
Simon Haeder is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy in the School of Public Policy at The Pennsylvania State University. His recent work has focused on the Affordable Care Act, provider quality and provider networks, and regulatory policymaking.
Issue Brief: West Virginia
West Virginia students need access to mental health care. SBHCs can help.