Adolescent School Health Program
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 (SBHCs). Subsequently, the Adolescent School Health Initiative was enacted in 1991 under Governor Buddy Roemer.
In response to the initiative, the Adolescent School Health Program (ASHP) was created. The Adolescent School Health Program resides in the Louisiana Department of Health – Office of Public Health – Bureau of Family Health. ASHP facilitates evidence-based quality improvement in Louisiana SBHCs and partners with adolescent health champions for systemic, transformative impact. This is accomplished by providing information, technical assistance, direction, and, monitoring to locally based entities for the establishment and continued operation of health centers in middle and secondary schools.
ADOLESCENT SCHOOL HEALTH INITIATIVE ACT (R.S. 40:31.3)
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 of contraceptive or abortifacient drugs, devices, or other similar products.
ASHP's MISSION, VISION, AND STRATEGY
ASHP has a vision that all Louisiana youth have the opportunity to realize their fullest and healthiest potential. Through the mission of ensuring effective, integrated school-centered health promotion in Louisiana. In pursuit of its mission, ASHP collaborates with schools, healthcare providers, and key stakeholders to safeguard access, reduce disparities, and encourage healthy transitions from adolescence to adulthood.
Today, ASHP collaborates with 21 sponsors to operate a network of 60 School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs). These centers serve students at 97 schools located in 25 Louisiana parishes by providing services to students while at school. Additional information about school-based health centers can be found at PartnersForFamilyHealth.org/SBHC. Have questions about SBHCs? Frequently asked questions may be found here.
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School-Based Health Center (SBHC) Sites, Partners, & Related Programs