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West Virginia Receives Federal Grant for Implementation of Medicaid and CHIP School-Based Services

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Human Services (DoHS), Bureau for Medical Services (BMS), in collaboration with the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE), has received one of 18 grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through its Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for the Implementation, Enhancement, and Expansion of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) School-Based Services.

“This grant will enable us to provide essential health services directly within the school environment, ensuring that every child has the opportunity to thrive both academically and personally,” said Cindy Beane, DoHS Bureau for Medical Services Commissioner. “By integrating health care into schools, we are breaking down barriers to access and investing in the future of West Virginia’s children.”

West Virginia will receive at least $2.5 million over three years specifically for the implementation of school-based health services through Medicaid and CHIP. These funds will support BMS’s efforts to connect more children to critical health care services, especially mental health services, at school.

“Schools offer a special platform for delivering comprehensive healthcare services to children,” said Sheila Paitsel, West Virginia Department of Education Director of Special Education. “These resources are essential because they allow children to stay in school and receive the care they need. From preventative and behavioral healthcare to physical care, school-based services offer families accessible, convenient care from trusted partners where children grow and learn.”
School-based services (SBS) play a crucial role in the health and well-being of children and adolescents. The school setting offers a unique opportunity to enroll children in Medicaid, facilitate access to health coverage, and provide direct health services to any Medicaid-enrolled child. Schools are instrumental in enhancing the early identification of health needs and connecting students to a wide range of health care services, including vital behavioral health resources. 

“The school-based services that this funding supports are crucial to the well-being and development of children,” said Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Administrator. “This funding also emphasizes the essential partnership between CMS and schools, and our shared commitment to ensuring health care is accessible to kids where they are – in school. This partnership is uniquely positioned to help reduce disparities, promote achievement, and build a reliable system of support for our nation’s youth. Medicaid and CHIP cover more than 39 million children – nearly half of our country’s children. Through targeted support to provide essential resources, innovative programs, and an environment where children can thrive, CMS is proud to work with state partners to invest in our children’s future and a brighter, more prosperous society for us all.”

To learn more about West Virginia’s Medicaid and CHIP programs, visit dhhr.wv.gov/bms/Pages/default.aspx or chip.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx.