School Health Clinics of Santa Clara County began in 1986 with a locally supported clinic at San José High Academy. It recognized that no matter how good schools are, students can’t learn if they aren’t healthy, and aimed to bridge the gap in low-cost primary medical care in poor communities by leveraging the natural fit between schools and health care clinics.
Over the years, SHC added clinics throughout San José and in Gilroy, while school-based health care became the model across the nation for delivering primary care in low-income communities. In 1999, SHC’s designation a Federally Qualified Health Center resulted in streamlined operations, improved efficiency and effectiveness of care, and a sustainable source of core funding. Today, SHC operates 5 clinics that serve more than 6,200 individuals annually, fulfilling its mission to provide high quality, affordable primary medical care for the low income community. School Health Clinics of Santa Clara County’s proven model of partnering with local schools to meet the health needs of low-income families is built on well-established evidence that healthier students are better learners.
One in ten children in Santa Clara County lives in poverty, and among the county’s Latino population the poverty rate is one in four households. In addition, Latinos disproportionately lack health insurance, experience high gaps in educational attainment and unemployment, and have high rates of obesity, diabetes, and drug abuse.
School Health Clinics of Santa Clara County addresses these challenges by providing primary medical care to more than 6,200 low-income individuals annually that helps them stay healthy and in school. Located on school campuses in San José and Gilroy, our five clinics are affordable and easily accessible - no one is turned away because they cannot pay. More than 84% of our patients are pediatric or adolescent, however our Washington Neighborhood Clinic provides family practice care that is available to patients of all ages.
Our clinics are safe and welcoming, with bilingual staff that address everything from immunizations and well-child visits, to screening and treatment for childhood obesity, depression, and behavioral health issues. We help families navigate referrals for specialty care, apply for health insurance, and access transportation. Our clinics are staffed with a nurse practitioner or physician assistant, and two bilingual Spanish speaking medical assistants. Supervising physicians oversee the clinics under the management of our Medical Director, Dr. Claude Rogé, a pediatric cardiologist.