Last May, HSC proudly announced the winners of our second annual School Nurse Leadership Award. It’s an award that acknowledges the tireless commitments that school nurses make, and is supported by School Health Corporation and MAICO Diagnostics. The five winners and five honorable mentions selected from across the country represent school nurses who are reimagining the role they play in school health and wellness, students’ academic success and the health of the larger community. In this blog, we feature the five school nurses who received honorable mention.
Margo works in Country Club Hills School District 160 in Illinois with 1,287 students. Margo has worked in the areas of disease prevention, asthma care and even gardening. Margo applied for and received a “Heart Smart for Teens” grant with the Women’s Health Organization from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The $50,000 grant stretched over three years, allowing her to work with more than 120 female students on setting personal goals as they relate to healthy lifestyles including nutrition, physical education and exercise. Now, she regularly sees program participants point out to her the healthy foods they’re buying in the grocery store.
Loree works in the Austin Independent School District where she’s responsible for three schools and 1,721 students. Loree noticed that many parents would bring their children to her office at the beginning of the school day to see if they had a temperature because they did not have a thermometer at home. Loree also knew that parents were less likely to use the emergency room if they had guidance on when the ER should be used. She found a booklet with that information available in several languages—more than 50 percent of the school’s population are non-English speakers. She also solicited donations of thermometers and created a map with locations of care facilities and passed out the entire kit at a school health fair.
Kelly serves more than 3,300 students across six campuses in southeastern Texas. When the combination of two hurricanes and the recession hit the school district, the number of economically disadvantaged students and families without health insurance in the district increased. Kelly worked to better understand Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) so she could better educate the families in her district. She invited representatives from both programs to events at the schools, and several families have now signed up for services. Kelly has also worked in flu prevention and updating her school district’s wellness policy.
Linda has more than three decades of nursing experience—two of those in the school setting. She is currently the school nurse serving two schools under one roof in Rhode Island. Linda recently worked on developing a pilot project called Controlling Asthma in Schools Effectively (CASE) with the Rhode Island Department of Health. Linda has also worked with state representatives to introduce green cleaning into school legislation and has led her school’s participation in the HealthierUS School Challenge for five district elementary schools.
Belinda has been at Eminence Elementary School in Kentucky for a long time. In addition to being the school’s nurse for 17 years, she also attended school there. Whether she’s dressing as Scrubby Bear to teach hand hygiene, hosting a Bike Safety Rodeo or teaching CPR on #GoRed Day, Belinda challenges herself to make each health promotion meaningful and fun. Once, she dressed up as a banana on Halloween and delivered bananas to students because there were “No tricks, just healthy treats because Eminence Elementary is bananas about learning!”
Congrats to all these school nurses for being selected as a 2015 School Nurse Leadership Award honorable mention! Thank you for the work you’ve done—and continue to do—to improve the health and wellness of your students and community. Click here to read more 2015 School Nurse Leadership Award winner profiles.