School Health Care Advocates Recognized with School-Based Health Alliance Pioneer Award


Washington, DC, Sept. 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Covid-19 has shown us that schools are more than just places of education, they provide for many student needs, including healthcare. The School-Based Health Alliance honored Dr. Claire Brindis and Dr. Angela Diaz with the organization’s Pioneer Award, which recognizes the founding members of the school-based health care (SBHC) movement who fought for national recognition of at-risk adolescents and how SBHCs are well-suited to address their needs. Both Brindis and Diaz have embodied this mission by growing the SBHC field, and contributing to SBHC research, evaluation, and peer-reviewed literature.

School-based health care is a powerful tool to address health equity among children and adolescents. In 2017, there were over 2,500 school-based health centers across the country in almost every state. Integrated into the education environment, school-based health care results in positive outcomes, including reduced student absenteeism.

Claire Brindis has been, and continues to be, a champion for school-based health centers and healthcare. She has worked arduously throughout the years advocating for access to health care for all children. She has written over 20 articles, specifically on school-based health centers and their impact on the population and has written over 200 articles total. Early in the history of SBHCs, Brindis participated in conducting the first national surveys that helped document the vital role that they played in young people’s lives, as well as co-authoring the first “user-friendly” evaluation guidebook on SBHCs, which has been used by countless programs to document their impact on the health and well-being of young people.

As an early pioneer in building SBHC programs, Brindis has worked tirelessly to bring awareness and funding to SBHCs in California and around the country. Brindis’ illustrious career working with SBHCs, the Adolescent and Young Adult Health National Resource Center, and the National Academy of Medicine, in addition to her advocacy efforts, is an inspiration to the school-based health care field and serves as a model for the mission of the School-Based Health Alliance. 

Angela Diaz is a strong advocate and fundraiser for school-based health centers. Her work in this field began in 1989, when she accepted the job offer to run the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center in Harlem, New York. After having immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic, she sought help from this center for depression, not knowing that it would shape her schooling and career as well as give her the ability to help countless young people for years to come. She currently serves as the chief fundraiser and administrator for the center.

Diaz is an advocate for stricter confidentiality policies for health centers that would allow adolescents to feel more comfortable in sharing with the health center staff. This is just one of the many policies, at the state and federal level, that she advocates for. The School-Based Health Alliance recognizes Diaz for her hard work, dedication, and lifetime commitment to serving the young people in her community and beyond.

“We deeply appreciate the efforts of these two women to pave the way for school-based health care in their communities and throughout the country. They both serve as role models for all that we do here at the School-Based Health Alliance,” said Robert Boyd, president of the Alliance.

With the cancellation of the in-person National School-Based Health Care Convention this summer in Denver, the Alliance will present Brindis and Diaz with their awards virtually in July.

About the School-Based Health Alliance

The School-Based Health Alliance is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that was founded in 1995. We are the national voice for school-based health care. We serve the school-based health care field by providing technical assistance, resources, and trainings so they can provide the best-quality health care to their patients. In addition, we advocate for policies on the local, state, and federal level that strengthen school health. We support our technical assistance and advocacy work—and the entire school-based health care field—through quality research and evaluation. For more information, please visit  To learn more about the specifics of each program, visit the School-Based Health Alliance website.


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