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School-based health centers get $1.6-million boost from feds

December 8, 2011 | 12:11 pm

Ezra Madrigal, 1, cries as she is getting her blood drawn, in her mother's arms Elizabeth Madrigal, 18, at the Elizabeth Learning Center Medical Clinic in Cudahy, CA November 16, 2011. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

The federal government awarded $1.6 million to school-based health centers in California for expansion and modernization, funds that will help the clinics treat more students and community members, officials announced Thursday.

The centers receiving money are Asian Pacific Health Care Venture in Los Angeles, Valley Community Clinic in North Hollywood, Centro De Salud De La Comunidad in San Ysidro and the Oakland Unified School District.

The health centers are typically located on school campuses and offer preventive and primary care services to students and their families. They are said to increase student attendance and reduce the costly use of hospital emergency rooms.

Nationwide, more than $14 million in grants to 45 school-based health centers were announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, marking the second installment of funding under the federal health reform law.

"The Affordable Care Act will help ensure our children get the high-quality healthcare they need and deserve," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.


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Photo: Elizabeth Madrigal, 18, a student at Elizabeth Learning Center in Cudahy, holds her daughter, Ezra, as the 1-year-old's blood is drawn in the school's medical clinic last month. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times