Northeast News for School Nurses!
News and Updates for the 2019-20 School Year
Volume 3: November 15, 2019
It's hard to believe that we are almost "ready" for the Thanksgiving! It will be nice for many of us to be able to get a brief break from our daily work and to spend some time with family and friends. Regardless of whether you will be home or traveling, I hope you stay safe and are able to get some much needed time to renew and refresh. I know I'm thankful for a few days to recharge my battery! I hope you find some of the resources and newsletter updates below useful. See many of you soon at the December CSHS Nurse Leader meeting. Meeting registration info is below...
Massachusetts School Health Unit Updates
Greetings from DPH! It has been a pleasure to spend much of my first weeks on the job at Regional Meetings and at the SCHENA training, which has meant lots of time with all of you! I would like to extend my gratitude, first and foremost, to all of those in the Boston office who have been so welcoming and helpful. Medication Administration applications are up to date thanks to the hard work of Evelyn Levenson and Caitlin Pettengill, and grant reconciliation forms and most payment vouchers are also out thanks to Juliet Berk. The five (including Bob Leibowitz) SHU staff, under the leadership of the Division of Child/Adolescent Health and Reproductive Health Director Jill Clark, are coming together as a team to support you in the important work you do. We are further supported by our six dedicated and incredibly resourceful Regional Consultants: Veronica Webb-Barrett (West), Janet Guertin-Moruzzi (Central), Jill Connelly (Metro-West), Ann Linehan (Southeast), Mary Jane O’Brien (Boston) and Shanyn Toulouse (Northeast). We could not have caught up with the med admin applications were it not for the help from Shanyn and Jill in particular, who came into the office over the summer to work on them. Department contact information has been updated on the School Health Unit website (https://www.mass.gov/service-details/school-health-services-contact-information) with the exception of Evelyn’s contact information as the interim Medication Administration Program Coordinator (Evelyn.Levenson@MassMail.State.MA.US). As I explained at the regional meetings, communications from the Department and your Regional Consultants will be streamlined via bi-monthly regional newsletters. We welcome your feedback on this new format!
I would like to extend my appreciation, in advance, for your patience with DPH staff as we all navigate the many transitions before us. This is a season of change for ALL of us, and whether you are someone who embraces change, or runs from it, it can still be unsettling, and may trigger feelings of worry, anxiety and frustration. I cannot stress enough that we are all in this together, and this is a time when we can utilize all those great community building skills we possess as school nurses and come together to support one another and build each other up. I look forward to working together with all of you to continue to provide the young people of Massachusetts with world-class school health care!
Karen Robitaille, MBA, MSN, RN, NCSN
< she, her, hers>
Director of School Health Services
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Bureau of Community Health & Prevention
250 Washington Street, 5th floor
Boston, MA 02108
Regional News and Updates
Jon Stafford, BSN, RN, NCSN, Ipswich School Nurse Coordinator creates FUN way to teach healthy habits!
Upcoming Meeting Reminders:
December 3, 2019
DoubleTree by Hilton, Westborough
8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
These meetings are required for all CSHS funded Model and Affiliate programs. They also open to ALL other School Nurses. There is a fee for these meetings. Please register for these meetings on BU SHIELD site HERE!
December 4, 2019 Webinar
9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
These meetings are required for all CSHS Model Programs and optional for CSHS Affiliate Programs. Those who are registered are able to access meetings and webinars HERE!
*If having trouble registering on any of the above links, please call 617-358-5005.
NEW Resources for School Health Staff and Others!
Clearing the Air: An Asthma Toolkit for Healthy Schools
MAAP, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Asthma Prevention and Control Program, and Health Resources in Action are delighted to announce the release of a new resource: Clearing the Air: An Asthma Toolkit for Healthy Schools. This toolkit contains sample policy language, best practices, and curated resources and tools to help schools create an asthma-friendly learning and working environment. Nine policy and practice areas have been identified as target areas to help improve air quality inside and around school buildings:
School-wide environmental health and safety management
Green cleaning and environmental purchasing programs
Integrated pest management
Leaks and moisture
Outdoor air pollution
Clinical asthma management in the school setting
Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in childhood. In any given classroom, it is likely that two or three students have asthma, and in larger classrooms and in some urban settings, that number is likely to be even higher. When children experience asthma symptoms, they often stay home from school, or they might have a hard time participating when they are in school. Research shows that children who have a lot of absences in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade are much less likely to read at grade level by the third grade. These students are also four times more likely to drop out of high school.
Since children spend a lot of their time in school, an asthma-friendly environment means healthier students who are ready to learn. The benefits of an asthma-friendly school can include:
Improved academic performance
Improved focus and physical stamina
Enhanced student and staff productivity
Fewer restrictions on participation in physical activities
Fewer symptoms and medical emergencies
By taking action together, we can help to ensure that all of our students have a better opportunity to thrive in school and beyond. Everyone – including families, school staff, students, and community groups – has an essential role to play. The school community can help by:
Educating children, parents, and staff about asthma and the school environment
Identifying and reducing potential asthma triggers in the school
Developing and implementing policies that create a supportive, asthma-friendly environment
Whether your school is considering a comprehensive wellness policy that includes environmental health and safety, or if you want to start on more modest projects, you’ll find guidance and resources throughout the toolkit – from building administration buy-in to identifying issues around the school to implementing best practices and policies to address the issues. Case studies are also available to show how schools and school districts across MA are making advances to improve the health of students, especially those with asthma. Take action together to make school a place where staff and students can work, learn, and play in the healthiest environment – use the Clearing the Air toolkit for guidance and inspiration.
STAY TUNED! MAAP and the MA DPH are planning a walk-through webinar. We’ll show you how to navigate this toolkit and its resources and discuss different ways to use the toolkit in your own school. More information to come!
SPREAD THE WORD! Click here for our promotion kit, which includes ready-to-share email, web and social media copy as well as graphics to download and send with your messages. We’ve been working hard on this toolkit, and we encourage you to share it with your members and networks!
RESPECTFully: Youth awareness & prevention campaign to define healthy relationships
RESPECTfully Campaign Goals
Created with extensive input at every stage of development from experts and youth from across the state, the RESPECTfully key message is that everyone deserves respect, honesty, and open communication. The campaign aims to:
- Increase awareness about what constitutes a healthy relationship by defining characteristics using examples of acceptable vs. unacceptable behaviors.
- Emphasize that respect is essential for maintaining healthy friendships and romantic relationships.
- Help teens identify the escalating behaviors that lead to unhealthy or unsafe relationships and safely remove themselves from those relationships.
Primary audience: Massachusetts youth between the ages of 12-18
- Youth serving individuals and organization
- Coaches, mentors, schools, camps, rape crisis and domestic violence organizations
- Parents/caregivers of children aged 12-18
Information and Resources
For more information visit Mass.gov/respectfully
To order RESPECTFully materials click HERE!
The Healthy Schools Toolkit
The Healthy Schools Toolkit is grounded in the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model, a framework that highlights 10 specific components schools need to support the whole child so that he or she is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. Think of the 10 components as the building blocks needed to construct a healthy school community.
These 10 components include:
- Health Education
- Physical Education & Activity
- Nutrition Environment & Services
- Health Services
- Counseling, Psychological, & Social Services
- Social & Emotional Climate
- Physical Environment
- Employee Wellness
- Family Engagement
- Community Involvement
Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention
The Model School Policy on Suicide Prevention gives educators and school administrators clear guidance on how to implement suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention policies in their schools and districts.
REVISED October 2019, in collaboration with the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and The Trevor Project, the newly updated Model is research-based and easily adaptable for schools serving students in Kindergarten through the 12th grade.
The Model includes specific, actionable steps to support school personnel; sample language for student handbooks; suggestions for involving parents and guardians in suicide prevention; tips for managing student re-entry after a mental health crisis; and guidance for addressing in-school suicide attempts and supporting the school community following a suicide loss.
In addition to educators and school leaders, school-based mental health professionals (e.g. counselors, social workers, nurses and psychologists) are essential in transforming policy into practice to enhance student well-being and the school environment as a whole.
More than half of all states in the U.S. currently require that educators receive training to prevent suicide. With recommendations rooted in best practices, the Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention can complement state law requirements and help schools achieve an inclusive, comprehensive suicide prevention plan.
NEW Professional Development and Other Meetings of Interest to School Nurses:
Making Sense of Healthcare Financing
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Merrimac Public Library
86 W. Main Street, Merrimac, MA
Join us for an overview of MassHealth Programs with emphasis on CommonHealth, pathways to eligibility to MassHealth/CommonHealth, accessing benefits and services including MA Premium Assistance Program, and explaining associated costs.
Pat Nemia, MA PT, is the Project Director of Mass Family Voices/F2F Health Information Center at the Federation for Children with Special Needs. Pat has many years of experience in healthcare as a physical therapist, educator, and administrator. In her role at FCSN, Pat educates and empowers families in health care financing including MassHealth issues.
For Parents/Caregivers of Children/Adults AGES 0-19
or (978) 373-0552 x211
This workshop is being hosted by The Arc of Greater Haverhill-Newburyport
Introduction to Trauma-Informed Treatment with Adolescents
Description: This 6-hour training is designed for beginning to mid-level experienced clinicians as well as direct care staff to improve their skills concerning their work with adolescents who struggle with a trauma history as well as substance use issues.
The core content includes adolescent developmental stages (social, emotional and cognitive), defining trauma, emotional and behavioral traits displayed by those who have experienced trauma, the relationship of trauma and substance use, trauma-informed and trauma-specific best practices within the milieu or therapeutic relationship and coping with secondary trauma and burnout.
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
REGISTRATION: 8:30 AM - 9:00 AM
TIME: 9:00 AM- 4:00 PM
LOCATION: Beechwood Hotel
363 Plantation St., Worcester, Massachusetts, 01605, USA
Presenter: CHRISTOPHER GREEN
PLEASE REMEBER BREAKFAST AND LUNCH WILL NOT BE PROVIDED, PLEASE PLAN ACCORDINGLY BY BRINGING LUNCH OR PLANNING TO RUN OUT AND GRAB SOMETHING. THERE WILL BE AN HOUR BREAK FOR LUNCH.
REGISTRATION FEE: $35 PAYABLE TO ADCARE EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTE, INC.
MAIL PAYMENT TO: 5 NORTHAMPTON STREET, WORCESTER, MA 01605
**IF YOU ARE PAYING WITH A PERSONAL CHECK OR COMPANY CHECK, PLEASE INCLUDE A COPY OF YOUR REGISTRATION CONFIRMATION EMAIL WITH THE PAYMENT.**
CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDITS: 5.00
Click here for the event summary
TO REGISTER: CLICK THE "REGISTER' BUTTON ON THE SUMMARY LINK PAGE ABOVE ^^
PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT YOU WILL NEED TO SELECT THE APPROPRIATE TAB AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE TO VIEW EACH PAGE OF THE BROCHURE (I.E. SUMMARY, AGENDA, FEES & OTHER, ETC.). CLICK ON EACH TAB TO VIEW THE DETAILS PERTAINING TO THIS EVENT.
IF YOU ARE DEAF OR HARD OF HEARING, OR ARE A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY WHO REQUIRES ACCOMMODATION, PLEASE CONTACT GINA COLON AT ADCARE EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTE, INC. AT (508) 752-7313; FAX: (508) 752-8111; TTY: (508) 754-0039 OR EMAIL: GINA@ADCARE-EDUCATIONAL.ORG AS SOON AS POSSIBLE TO SECURE ACCOMMODATIONS.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE CONTACT:
Questions to the Group:
REMINDERS for CSHS Funded Programs:
CSHS MONTHLY REPORT INFO:
The correct link to the Monthly report form is shown below:
Questions related to CSHS mandated grant reporting should go to: email@example.com
All CSHS Report forms and instructions can be found here: CSHS pdf forms 2019-2020
Clicking the link will download a zip file.
CSHS BUDGET QUESTIONS:
Questions related to CSHS budget and spending can be directed to Juliet Berk at firstname.lastname@example.org
State Reports for Non-CSHS Funded Schools:
Epinephrine administration report form
SBIRT data report form. This is an Excel spreadsheet that needs to be downloaded, completed, and then returned as an email attachment.
Single user version: SBIRT data collection form 2019-2020 (Single screener)
Multiple user version SBIRT data collection form 2019-2020 (Multiple screeners)
If the file does not automatically download, but opens in Excel, click “ok” when prompted then select “save as” and then save the file to a folder of your choosing (you can re-name the file if needed).
Asthma and Diabetes Survey questions may be directed via email to the project mailbox at DPH-BEH-Asthma@state.ma.us or via telephone to 617- 624-5757. Please ask for the Pediatric Asthma Coordinator.
BMI report form. This report is required of districts that are not funded through the CSHS program. CSHS-funded districts and schools should NOT submit a separate BMI report. This report is optional for non-public school districts.
Questions? E-mail your question to: DPH_ESHS_data@MassMail.State.MA.US
MA Department of Public Health: School Health Unit
Karen Robitaille, MBA, MSN, RN, NCSN
Director of School Health
Phone: (617) 624-5427
Caitlin Pettengill, DNP, RN
Assistant Director of School Health
Phone: (617) 624-6058
Juliet Sithole-Berk, MPA, MSCED
Phone: (617) 624-5447
Robert Leibowitz, Ph.D.
Phone: (617) 624-5474
Fax: (617) 624-6062
Interim Medication Administration
Phone: 617) 624-6013
Fax: (617) 624-6062
Click HERE for School Health Unit information and resources!
Statewide Regional School Nurse Consultant Contacts:
Mary Jane O'Brien, PhD, RN, CPNP, NCSN
Janet Guertin-Moruzzi BSN, RN, NCSN
Jill Connolly, MEd, BSN, RN, NCSN
(781) 848-4000 x7841
Shanyn A. Toulouse, MEd, BSN, RN NCSN
Ann M. Linehan, DNP, MSN, RN
Veronica Webb Barrett, MSN, MA Ed Psych, RN, HNB-BC
Shanyn A. Toulouse, MEd, BSN, RN, NCSN
Northeast Regional School Nurse Consultant
Office ☎︎ 978.420.1919
Mobile ☎︎ 978.761.2307
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"School Nurses of the Northeast Region Collaborate and Share Expertise to Optimize Student Health and Learning"