New York State Health Foundation

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Peer Health Exchange

  • Project Title: Developing a Blueprint for Hospital and Health Plan Investment in Health Education
  • Priority Area: Special Projects Fund
  • Grant Amount: $75,000
  • Date Awarded: September 28, 2016
  • Region: Manhattan
  • Region: New York City
  • Website:
  • Grant Status: In Progress


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, NYSHealth awarded PHE a grant to develop a blueprint for establishing partnerships with SBHCs to provide critical health resources to students.

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