Lessons Learned: Funding School-Based Health Services in Indianapolis

December 2022

Healthy students make better learners and are more likely to see positive academic outcomes, underscoring the need for in-school health care. Further, the economic benefit of school nurses is striking. For every $1 spent on school nursing, the savings equal $2.20.

The final report released this July by the Governor’s Public Health Commission includes several related recommendations, specifically calling for increased access to health services within Indiana schools. With these recommendations in mind, we revisited our historical funding for school-based health services in Indianapolis, which was awarded from 2005 to 2017, and documented the lessons learned to guide future implementation efforts by schools and healthcare providers.

In the “lessons learned” document, we describe our three-year, $4.2 million initiative to fund different types of school-based health models and highlight the importance of establishing a sustainable funding source.