Special Projects Fund

Project Title

Developing a Blueprint for Hospital and Health Plan Investment in Health Education

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Special Projects Fund

Date Awarded

September 28, 2016







High school is a critical time in adolescent development. Young people navigate difficult decisions on a daily basis, and some adolescents are dealing with emotional distress and trauma without knowing how to seek help.

Yet, many of New York City’s most vulnerable students are not receiving comprehensive health education before they experience a health crisis, engage in sexual activity and/or substance use, need mental health support, or drop out. To provide the right information at the right time, Peer Health Exchange (PHE) trains college students to teach a skills-based health curriculum in under-resourced high schools. PHE recently expanded its curriculum to include a unit devoted to increasing students’ ability and desire to access school-based health centers (SBHCs), which provide free physical and mental health services in a school setting. In 2016, NYHealth awarded PHE a grant to develop a blueprint for establishing partnerships with SBHCs to provide critical health resources to students.

Under this grant, PHE developed an implementation and replication blueprint for health systems that operate SBHCs. The blueprint was modeled after a successful pilot between PHE and New York-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP), which implemented PHE’s program at a participating high school. To develop this blueprint, PHE undertook a comprehensive landscape analysis of New York City SBHCs and health and hospital systems, as well as identified populations served, existing community engagement, barriers and obstacles, opportunities for collaboration, and key decision-makers. PHE then developed a business plan, including a value proposition, revenue potential, and detailed cost analysis. The blueprint served as a replicable model for establishing sustainable partnerships for SBHC operators.