School Health Services Update: October 11, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that the MDPH CSHS RFR has been released!  Hopefully, you have received the email sent recently with details of this procurement for Comprehensive School Health Service funding!  Details are available on the Compass website. Questions can be addressed to Alison Brill at  Per state procurement protocols, responses to all inquiries will be posted on the Commbuys website; no individual responses will be sent. All questions must be received by November 14th, 2019, for response.

Congratulations to the school nurses who have recently been nationally certified as a school nurse!  Many of these nurses have been listed in these emails (with their permission) but we now have over 800+ school nurses who have achieved NCSN status in Massachusetts!  Congratulations to all who have passed this rigorous exam and ongoing renewal of this certification.  Since 1991 a baccalaureate in nursing or a school health related area has been required for application for national certification: .  However, a BSN will be required starting January 1, 2020. School nurses without a baccalaureate degree in nursing and are not currently NCSN certified are encouraged to sit for the exam during one of the next three 2019 test windows.

A reminder of the upcoming programs from SHIELD:

We receive many inquiries concerning HIPAA versus FERPA in schools.  Attached is a graphic from the CDC that you might find useful when determining if disclosure is permitted.

Thank you for all you do for all of our students every day!
The School Health Team,
Mary Ann, Alison, Janet and Bob

It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well.” — Rene Descartes, mathematician and philosopher


Stacey Laro, BSN, RN, NCSN of the Peabody Public Schools recently achieved her national certification in school nursing and two other nurses have graduated from Cambridge College with Masters in Education Degrees, Mia Davekos, MEd, BSN, RN and Shayna Dana, MEd, RN.   Congratulation to these Peabody Public School Nurses!
Na​talie Petrucci BSN, RN, NCSN, a School Nurse in the Florence Roche Elementary School​ in Groton has also achieved national certification as a school nurse!  Congratulations to Natalie on this honor!


The Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA) is a developmentally-appropriate behavioral treatment for youth and young adults 12 to 24 years old with substance use disorders.  A-CRA seeks to increase the family, social, and educational/vocational reinforces to support recovery. This intervention has been implemented in outpatient, intensive outpatient, and residential treatment settings.

A-CRA includes guidelines for three types of sessions:

  • individuals alone,
  • parents/caregivers alone, and
  • individuals and parents/caregivers together.

According to the individual’s needs and self-assessment of happiness in multiple life areas, clinicians choose from a variety of A-CRA procedures that address, for example, problem-solving skills to cope with day-to-day stressors, communication skills, and active participation in positive social and recreational activities with the goal of improving life satisfaction and eliminating alcohol and substance use problems. Practicing new skills during sessions is a critical component of the skills training used in A-CRA. Every session ends with a mutually-agreed upon homework assignment to practice skills learned during sessions. Often these homework assignments include participation in pro-social activities. Likewise, each session begins with a review of the homework assignment from the previous session.  A-CRA has been implemented by more than 270 organizations in the United States and in several other countries. It is noted as one of the three interventions for adolescents described in Anne Fletcher’s book, Inside Rehab.

Our goal is that any school personnel that screens for SBIRT and finds a referral to treatment is necessary, would refer to their community based A-CRA provider.  This is an evidence based and developmentally appropriate SUD treatment model for 12 – 24 year olds.

All of the A-CRA providers are listed on the MA Substance Use Helpline  Please keep in mind some agencies offer services within the community and some are office based.  Feel free to share the Helpline with any assistance need to access an A-CRA trained provider or when making a referral following an SBIRT screening.


My name is Maria Anidi and I am a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) student at Northeastern University. I invite you to take part in my DNP scholarly project. The purpose of this scholarly research project is to evaluate School Nurses’ Knowledge of Individual School-Aged Homeless Children Grades K-8 through an online survey. The aims are to improve school nurses’ knowledge of the diverse needs of school-aged homeless children; to explore avenues, and available resources to assist them.

If you have already completed the survey, then please disregard this message. This is just a gentle reminder, if you would like to participate in the on-line homeless Questionnaire, that the questionnaire will be available for two more weeks.  Please see link:

This study has been approved by the Northeastern University Review Board (#18-08-08).

Thank you in advance,

Maria Anidi, MSN, MBA, RN
DNP student, Northeastern University


The Society for Adolescent Health & Medicine released a position paper entitled, Racism And Its Harmful Effects On Nondominant Racial Ethnic Youth And Youth-Serving Providers:  A Call to Action for Organizational Change on racism in the July issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.  Please read and distribute widely!


Shriners Hospital Boston is hosting a half day conference…free, including contact hours & lunch. Please see the attached flyer for more information.


During the school year is the perfect time to educate parents about the importance of the HPV vaccine and when to have their children vaccinated.

The American Cancer Society has launched their Mission: HPV Cancer Free Campaign, which aims to partner with volunteers, parents and guardians, providers, school nurses, health care organizations, and community leaders to promote the use of the HPV vaccine. The goal of the campaign is to have 80 percent of 13-year-old boys and girls in the US fully vaccinated with the HPV vaccine by 2026. The HPV vaccine has been proven to help prevent six types of cancer – an opportunity to put a stop to 31,200 new cases of cancer each year! (HPV Vaccines: Vaccinating Your Preteen or Teen, CDC, Aug. 2018) (United States Cancer Statistics Data Brief, No. 4, CDC, Aug. 2018)

Below are some great flyers for school nurses to share with parents/guardians, providers, and other stakeholders at various parent events, health nights, health fairs, parent and family newsletters, school nurse bulletin boards, health lessons, etc.:

Need ideas for social media, emails, or school newsletters? Here is a link to the 2018 HPV Vaccine Awareness Toolkit with helpful promotional messages.
Additional information, resources, and education can be found from the HPV Vaccination RoundtableMA Department of Public HealthCDCNational Association of School Nurses & National AHEC Organization.
If you have any questions or ideas of how to promote and educate about the HPV vaccine, please contact Lisa Leydon ( from the American Cancer Society.

Thank you for the amazing work you do every day and helping to protect our children from HPV-related cancers!


Students from the Quincy Public Schools Middle School are working to pass and ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. While too young to vote themselves but concerned that women’s rights are left up to “interpretation” instead of being “officially spelled out in the U.S. Constitution” they have formed a group entitled The Yellow Roses:
One of many articles that have been written recently concerning the work these young women are doing:​  This work is gaining national attention from Teen Vogue and Women eNews as well!  Check it out!


Boston Children’s Hospital Community Education Initiative Evening Lecture Series: Seizure Management in the School Setting
Wednesday November 14th, 2018
Programs are held at the Children’s Hospital Waltham, 9 Hope Ave. Waltham, MA – DEVEBER conference room
Light dinner is provided from 4pm to 4:30pm
Lecture runs 4:30pm to 6:30pm
All handouts are sent electronically
$65 per session

Questions about programs can be directed to

Come learn about:

  • Etiology & Diagnosis
  • Review various seizure types
  • Syndromes & disabilities associated with
  • seizures
  • Sudden unexpected death in seizures
  • Learn newest trends in seizure management
  • New VNS being used
  • General activity recommendations
  • Keto Diets
  • Medications
  • Types of surgery
  • Cannabis
  • Midazolam and how to administer

To Register:
Pay with PayPal account or credit/debit card by clicking on the links above.
Purchase orders are accepted. They must be received at least 7 days prior to program date. Please fax to 617-730-0591 OR email to

Checks are accepted and can be made payable to Boston Children’s Hospital and Mailed to:

Judi Naar/Main 9East,
Boston Children’s Hospital,
300 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115


EOHHS Region Name Office Phone Cell Phone Email
State Epidemiologist 617-983-6800    
Central Kate Maher 978-567-6190, ext. 21122
Metrowest Jill Connolly 781-848-4000, ext. 7841 781-603-7697
Northeast Shanyn Toulouse 978-420-1919 978-761-2307
Southeast Ann Linehan 508-580-7363
West Diane Colucci 413-750-2511
Therese Blain 413-750-2007


Mary Ann Gapinski, MSN, RN, NCSN
Director of School Health Services/ School SBIRT Coordinator
MA Department of Public Health
250 Washington Street – 5th Floor
Boston, MA  02108


SBIRT information: