Advocates for school based health braved the cold November night and some light snow to attend our Fall networking event on November 15, 2018. This event was the launch of our membership drive! Participants were invited to officially become members of the MASBHA. for $50 for the year.
Many thanks to all who participated in our recent event at MGH-Boston: 'Creating Our Future: An Evening of MA SBHA Networking and Action'. Despite the snowy evening, there was great energy, passion, community, and warmth evident in the shared networking, brainstorming and action planning regarding each of the MA School Based Health Alliance (SBHA) Committees focused on: (1) Advocacy, (2) Communication (3) Programming and (4) Organizational Development.
Recent MASBHA committee updates and successes were shared, as well as the results of the recent 'Survey of the SBHC Field in Massachusetts'. The membership drive was initiated - accompanied by a variety of 'MASBHA swag' - and the group focused on brainstorming and planning best next steps for each committee's role in meeting the mission of MASBHA: '...to promote the health, resilience, and academic success of children and adolescents, in collaboration with community partners committed to advocating for student well-being through school-based health centers'.
The priorities of all committees and discussions had a common, and often overlapping, focus on (1) advocacy for the important work of school-based health centers, for enhancing the health of children and adolescents, and for insuring access to integrated health care for all, especially for more vulnerable populations; (2) choosing multiple methods and strategies for communicating, connecting, supporting, sharing expertise, and collaborating with colleagues, school, and community collaborators (on local, state, and national levels); (3) developing a programming framework of events and opportunities matching the MASBHA mission and inclusive of SBHC professionals across all regions of the state, the students and 'student-voice', school colleagues, families, communities, health organizations, and other important SBHC stakeholders and advocates; and (4) developing creative and sustainable organizational development strategies and funding sources for insuring that the mission, vision, goals, and priorities of the MASBHA can be carried out with integrity.
There is an upcoming Advocacy Day, designated as 'Massachusetts School-Based Health Alliance Day On the Hill', to be held on Wednesday, 3/20/19 from 10:00 - 12:00 in Nurses Hall at the Massachusetts State House, and this will be our next exciting collaborative event. Looking forward to seeing you there!