Adolescent School Health Program: School-Based Health Centers


In 1990, as policy makers became concerned about the high morbidity and mortality rates of adolescents, the Legislature asked the Office of Public Health (OPH) to determine the feasibility of opening school-based health centers. Subsequently, the Adolescent School Health Initiative was enacted in 1991 under Governor Buddy Roemer. This Act authorized OPH to facilitate and encourage the development of comprehensive school-based health centers in public schools.


The role of the Office of Public Health's Adolescent School Health Program (ASHP) is to establish and monitor compliance with standards, policies, and guidelines for school health center operation; provide technical and financial assistance to School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs); and provide and encourage collaboration with other agencies and other potential funding sources. Funding opportunities are closed at this time.


A SBHC provides convenient access to comprehensive, primary and preventive physical and mental health services for public school students at the school site.


Students spend a significant portion of their day on school grounds. SBHCs are accessible, convenient, encourage family and community involvement, reduce student absenteeism, and reduce parental leave from work or the need to transport students for doctor visits.  SBHC staff team with school personnel to meet the medical and behavioral needs of the students and their families while reducing time away from school.  SBHCs empower students to embrace healthy lifestyle changes through health education and preventions programs in a familiar and safe environment.


SBHCs in Louisiana operate according to age appropriate, current and recognized standards of care and treatment, and follow principles, standards and guidelines as established by ASHP. Parental consent must be obtained prior to seeing a student as a patient.


This law authorizes the Office of Public Health to facilitate and encourage the development of comprehensive health centers in Louisiana public schools. It specifically prohibits counseling or advocating for abortion and the distribution contraceptive or abortifacient drugs, devices, or other similar products.

SBHC staffing includes, at minimum:

  • Primary Care Provider (Physician, Physician Assistant, or Nurse Practitioner)
  • Physician Medical Director
  • Registered Nurse
  • Mental Health Provider (licensed or Master's Level)
  • Administrator
  • Office Assistant


  • Primary Health Care
  • Preventive Health Care
  • Behavioral Health Care
  • Comprehensive Health Assessments 
  • Sports Physicals
  • Treatment of Acute Illnesses and Injuries
  • Immunizations 
  • Co-management of Chronic Diseases such as asthma and diabetes
  • Health Education and Prevention Programs
  • Referral to Specialty Care
  • Dental Services, where available
  • Louisiana Children's Health Insurance Program (LaCHIP) application centers
  • Case Management


For more information contact us.

Additional Resources