Health Equity Works Receives Grant to Expand School-Based Healthcare

Community Engagement; Faculty; Public Health

​Express Scripts has awarded $350,000 to Health Equity Works (formerly For the Sake of All) to support the statewide expansion of the newly formed Show-Me School-Based Health Alliance of Missouri (MO-SMSBHA).

The group is an emerging affiliate of the National School-Based Health Alliance, an evidence-based intervention delivering services to students — pre-K to 12th grade — in a school setting. MO-SMBHA will support multiple types of programs across the state, including health centers on or near school campuses, mobile health care and telemedicine.

“Express Scripts understands that school-based health centers can significantly support student well-being and learning. We are thankful for their foresight in investing in state infrastructure that will amplify impact for Missouri youth,” said Jason Purnell, director of Health Equity Works.

The creation of a statewide organization to support school-based health centers is part of a long-term strategy fostered by Health Equity Works to further address health disparities in the St. Louis region and across the state. Since its inception in February, the alliance has developed a statewide board of directors consisting of volunteer school-based health care advocates from education, health care, community health, behavioral health, managed care, child advocacy, and state and local government.

“Express Scripts is honored to support this critical work and to help provide access to one of the most basic needs of a community. As a healthcare company, we are continually looking for ways to improve the overall health and access to healthcare for future generations. We believe school-based programming starts to meet that need for students who may otherwise not have access.” said Susan Stith, vice president diversity, inclusion and corporate giving.

“[MO-SMSBHA] will help unite efforts in urban, rural and suburban communities to promote student health and school success statewide,” said Melissa Randol, executive director of Missouri School Boards’ Association and co-chair of SMSBHA-Missouri’s executive committee.

The organization expects to achieve full affiliate status within the next year; visit their website for more information and to sign up for the mailing list.