Five nurses from Akron Children’s school health services were among 51 individuals selected from applicants across the U.S. to participate in the Johnson & Johnson School Health Leadership program.
The 2-year fellowship program is designed to train school nurses and school or public health administrators in leadership, project management and community health techniques. The goal is to develop effective community health advocates and leaders.
“This program is for school teams across the country,” said Wilmoth. “Out of the 12 groups who are participating, we are the only hospital-based school nursing team.”
Managing asthma in school children
As part of the fellowship training, each team identifies a particular community health issue they want to address. Wilmoth and her team chose asthma management as their school health initiative.
Their goal is to increase knowledge and understanding about asthma for students and caregivers in the school community. This includes making sure that students with asthma have a written care plan at school, are able to recognize and respond to symptoms, and use the correct medication when it’s needed.
“Our project will help kids learn to effectively manage their own asthma, so they don’t miss school or sit out of gym class or recess,” Wilmoth said. “We want students with asthma to fully participate in all school activities, letting kids be kids.”
Initially the project will be focused on the public schools in Akron and Wooster, based on areas where the need is greatest. The goal is to implement the project in all school districts the hospital serves.
Representing Akron Children’s in the leadership program are:
- Michele Wilmoth, MSN, RN, LSN, NCSN, director of school health services
- Mary Schatz, MSN, RN, nurse manager
- Heather Edwards, BSN, RN, LSN, NCSN, education and outreach coordinator
- Laurel Celik, BSN, RN, NCSN, who works in the Akron Public Schools
- Stacey Dailey, BSN, RN, who works in the Wooster City Schools