Creating Our Future: An Evening of Networking and Action

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.

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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!

Membership drive starts! Look! Water bottle with sign up! PENS!

Membership drive starts! Look! Water bottle with sign up! PENS!

Reflection and Resistance

As social workers in clinical settings we live so deeply into the individual lives of our clients, learning their fears and worries, hopes and encouraging their dreams. And we are beside ourselves when we think of our students or any other child being ripped from parents arms screaming for the comfort of their family. I hear over and over again from my colleagues that we are in the “trenches” each day doing the micro work, and I sense that we struggle to find our macro voice in all this chaos. Sometimes hearing the news fires us up into action and for others I think we allow ourselves a pass; because we do important individual work, we give ourselves permission not to consider what our wider impact could and should be. And we are tired, very very tired.

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Implicit Bias and the Healthcare Provider

"This year, I also find myself reflecting on privileges that I, as a white individual, raised in an upper, middle class family, and educated in an affluent school district, experience.  Privilege that surely contributes to my perception of the winter holidays as a season of effortless joy, indulgent eating, time off work, gift exchanges, and peaceful rest with my family...Many of the students we care for in school-based health centers are not privy to this level of societal privilege.  Understanding the painful realities, inequities, and stacked disadvantages our patients face is essential to providing them with competent health services."

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Advocacy 101

Advocacy 101 by Allison Kilcoyne

 

Have you called Washington DC lately? Do you know your US Representative in Congress? Do you know your Senator’s health care legislative aide?  If not, now it is time.  Today.  

There has been much talk about getting our voices heard. Facebook groups, marches, signing petitions online, writing emails – that is helpful.  What is more powerful is developing a personal relationship with our elected officials and their legislative aides.  Find that scary?  Intimidating?  Or do you say to yourself “what is the point, we have it pretty good here in Massachusetts.”  Here are some of my thoughts having been to Capitol Hill many times over the past few years. CLICK TO READ MORE

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