School Health Services Update: March 15th, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

It was an inspiring, reflective and emotional day on Wednesday!  We heard from extraordinary School Nurse Leaders from across the state as to how they broke free of the “glass cage” to lead with courage, power and voice!  We listened to their stories of growth through their mistakes and their triumphs addressing the needs of their students and staff! We heard their strategies for dealing with difficult managers and co-workers.  We learned how they gathered, analyzed and used data to support their requests for additional staff and resources.  Many thanks to each of them, Jill Gasperini, Laurie Melchionda, Barbara Singer, Rita Casper, Pam Ciborowski, Cheryl Barczak, Debra McGovern, Cynthia Carbone, Marie Fahey, Phyllis DuComb, and Pamela Rivers for sharing their stories. A very special thank you to Tracy Rose-Tynes and Alison Brill who led the day with a  musical presentation that began the day in such a wonderful way! And thanks to those who honored our statewide Regional Consultants and members of the School Health Unit Team with their gifts of both praise and presents!

Next week we will be welcoming and beginning to orient nurses new to school nursing at the BU SHIELD Foundations program!  These are nurses who are beginning their journey toward leadership as a School Nurse and we look forward to working with them as they begin this process of growth in our chosen profession.  As you know, nurses seeking licensure as a School Nurse in Massachusetts must participate in a four-day training program that includes both online and classroom components.  In addition to this orientation, BU SHIELD is working to develop a School Nurse Mentor program with the School Nurse Empowerment Team (NET).  We look forward to implementing this program beginning as a pilot program under the direction of Beverly Heinze-Lacey, MPH, RN, Director of the BU SHIELD program, and the NET as we further address the need for strong School Nurse leaders in every school in Massachusetts!

Thank you to all who have assisted one another in our individual journeys to becoming School Nurse Leaders….in each of our school buildings, in our school districts and across the state!  Thank you for all you do- every day!

Mary Ann and the School Health Team

“It’s the rough side of the mountain that’s the easiest to climb; the smooth side doesn’t have anything for you to hang on to.” –Aretha Franklin, singer known as the Queen of Soul – March is Women’s History Month

Jamy Gaynor, Ed.D, MS, BSN, RN, FCCS, NCSN, a School Nurse in the Marlborough Public Schools successfully completed another milestone in her career – she passed the NCSN exam!  Congratulations, Jamy!

Please see the attached recruitment poster for the Northeast Region that is being coordinated by Shanyn Toulouse, MEd, BSN, RN, NCSN, Northeast Regional School Nurse Consultant!  Do you know an  RN with a BSN or working toward one?  Looking for a nursing career that requires a collaborative team approach? Already a DESE Licensed School Nurse looking for a change? Looking for a rewarding job working with children or teens? Have excellent assessment and communication skills? Enjoy a challenge and can work independently?  School Nurses in the Northeast Region will be hosting a Recruitement Event at Northern Essex Community College, Hartleb Technology Center, 100 Elliott Street, Haverhill MA, on the March 22nd from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.  The attached poster has more information….please distribute to family, friends and colleagues who may be interested!

Thank you for your patience as we prepare this year’s survey, and apologies for the delay in getting it out to you sooner. We will begin emailing the survey out in the next week. If you elected to receive the survey by mail, you should receive it within the next few weeks. Again, thank you for your support in this project; we look forward to sharing the results with you.

The FDA has the most updated information on the shortage of certain epinephrine auto injectors. In October 2018, the FDA extended expiration dates for certain epinephrine auto-injectors as listed on this FDA page. (Scroll about halfway down the page to reach the information concerning epinephrine.)

Racism and other systems of oppression negatively impact all students’ ability to learn and be healthy. School nurses are uniquely situated to address and reduce health disparities and racial inequities in schools, and work to increase access, equity, and opportunity for all students. Resources available to assist in these efforts can be found on the MDPH School Health website at:

SBIRT in Schools Introduction to Verbal Substance Use Screening (required for DESE initial School Nurse licensure):

  • 3/25/2019 in Ludlow MA
  • 4/8/2019 in Boston MA
  • 5/15/2019 in Dartmouth MA

Register here: SBIRT in Schools
For additional SBIRT trainings, including Implementation Essentials (for districts or schools who have never implemented SBIRT) and Mastering SBIRT (for districts or schools who have implemented SBIRT in the past and would like to deepen their skills) please complete the training request found at:

MassHealth, in conjunction with UMass Medical School will offer a training to share critical information related to Reimbursable Services billed through interim claiming and moments marked as “in accordance with program guidelines” in the Random Moment Time Study. The training will build upon information shared in the recently published “Direct Service Interim Claiming Guide” available online at   Accordingly, we ask that you save the date to attend the Reimbursable Services for Interim Claiming & RMTS training in person or via phone/livestream.

What: Reimbursable Services for Interim Claiming & Random Moment Time Study Training

Who: Staff who support seeking reimbursement for Reimbursable Services, such as Random Moment Time Study (RMTS) Coordinators, Medicaid Billing Staff, Special Education Directors, Health Services Directors, Business Managers, etc.

Where: Via livestream, with limited capacity in person at UMass at 333 South Street, Shrewsbury, MA 01545.

When: 04/04/2019

Why: To learn about Reimbursable Services requirements as it relates to Direct Service Claiming, including interim billing; Medicaid covered services; program compliance; service documentation; medical necessity; and the RMTS for Direct Service Practitioners. Information from this training directly relates to revenue claimable under the School-Based Medicaid Program.

What’s next? 

Stay tuned! Additional details and registration information to follow.  Please help us spread the word by sharing this information with appropriate individuals in your Local Education Agency. In addition, vendors will be notified of this training session. We highly recommend LEAs send an LEA employee to attend virtually or in person so LEAs fully understand program requirements as described by MassHealth. As a reminder, LEAs are obligated to understand and follow program requirements as described in the MassHealth-LEA provider contract. Additional specialty specific (e.g. physical therapy, behavioral health) trainings will be announced as dates are finalized.

The PAX Good Behavior Game Training is an evidence-based instruction is supported by the Massachusetts Departments of Public Health and Elementary and Secondary Education.  The one-day training (April 1 in N. Falmouth; April 2 in Leominster; April 3, Northampton; April 4 in Natick; or April 5 in Waltham), classroom materials, and implementation support will be offered at no charge. As a result of this training, the concepts of self-management and social skills are integrated into the regular curriculum by classroom teachers and increase the time-in-learning. Teacher stress is significantly decreased, and research has shown an improvement in academics. As you know, children’s success along these dimensions helps to prevent later alcohol, opioid, and other substance misuse.

Special Education personnel, Psychologists, School Adjustment Counselors, and Social Workers can often become effective supporters of this social and emotional learning process. Each person is asked to register individually as soon as possible (or by March 13, 2019) at one of these locations:

·   April 1, 2019 – N. Falmouth:
·   April 2, 2019 – Leominster:
·  April 3, 2019 – Northampton:
·  April 4, 2019 – Natick:
·  April 5 – Waltham:

Because this opportunity will be most meaningful coming from you, we ask that you also forward this to your team.  For more information on the SEL program visit Good Behavior Game.  For details on the Massachusetts initiative contact Kathleen Herr-Zaya at the Department of Public Health ( or 617-624-5143).  Please let us know your ideas and feedback.
If you have any questions relating to the registration, please contact: Marion Clark-Jalbert, Training Coordinator, AdCare Educational Institute, Inc.

The current measles outbreaks in the United States and elsewhere are being fueled by misinformation about the safety of vaccines. To help counter such misinformation, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine created a website that provides clear, concise, and evidence-based answers to questions about vaccine safety and other commonly asked questions about health and science.

Please see the attachment for information on the April 4th Pediatric Allergy & Asthma Update nursing conference.  The program is being held at the Forefront Center for Meetings & Conferences, 404 Wyman St., Waltham, MA.  02453.   There is still time to register!  The PayPal link in the flyer attached will allow you to pay with a PayPal account OR a regular credit/debit card.  IF you would rather pay by check, please just email me to register you and make checks payable to Children’s Hospital and mail to my attention, address below.

Purchase orders are accepted and must be on file by Thursday March 28th.  They can be faxed directly to me at 617-730-0591 or scanned and emailed to me as well.

Thank you!

Join us for a free full day conference addressing the complex needs our adolescent population is facing today. The conference will include sessions given by leading experts in the field on substance use disorder screening, prevention, and treatment, concurrent mental health issues and trauma, social media, the role of the family, JUULing and marijuana.  It is free, has free CE’s and amazing providers with new knowledge and resources to be shared.

For more details and to register, visit:

Date:  April 12, 2019

Registration: 8:00 AM

Conference: 8:30 AM– 4:30 PM

Location:  Sheraton Needham Hotel, 100 Cabot Street , Needham, Ma 02494


Conference Highlights:

  • Screening, Prevention, and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders
  • The Social Media Disconnect
  • JUULing, Vaping, and THC
  • Developmental Neurobiology and Evidence Based Treatment Options

CME Course Director: Daniel P. Alford, MD, Boston University School of Medicine

See attached flier for more information.

Who Should Attend? Student Leaders, School Administrators, Wellness Coordinators and Educators, Athletic Directors, Coaches, Nurses, Guidance Personnel, Club Advisors,

School Resource Officers and anyone interested in learning more about effective model programs and best practices in wellness

Friday, April 26, 2019

Doubletree Hotel, Westborough, MA

Registration/Breakfast: 7:30am–8:15am

General Session: 8:15am–9:15am

Concurrent Sessions: 9:30am–12:20pm

Luncheon: 12:30pm-1:30pm

Fee: $55 per person  (Includes Continental Breakfast, Lunch and Materials)

5 PD Hours:  Content Area: Safe and Supportive Learning Environments

The Conference will feature three concurrent workshop sessions on:

  • Coping With Stress & Teen Depression
  • The Emotional Impact of ADHD and Effective Strategies for Instruction
  • Anxiety Disorders in Students
  • Meditation & Social/Emotional Awareness For Educators
  • Mind Over Media: The Fight for Mental Health
  • Student-Athletes & Mental Health
  • Teen Empowerment, Mindfulness & Resiliency
  • When Grief & Loss Affect a School Community
  • How to Cultivate Happiness
  •     The Brain, Trauma & Teens
  • The Role of the SRO & Student Mental Health Concerns
  • Bullying Prevention

There will also be an Exhibit Area with over 20+ wellness exhibitors

There is a 72-hour cancellation policy for this program.

Please direct all billing questions to the MSAA accounting department.



The Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (MCAAP) presents its Annual CME Edward Penn Lecture and Business Meeting:

Speaking Up For Kids: Pediatric Advocacy in Massachusetts

May 8, 2019 – 9:30 am – 4:00 pm at the Massachusetts Medical Society, Waltham, MA

Overall Program Objectives :

Attendees will identify and master strategies and tools to effectively engage in legislative and other policy-making processes to advocate for child health.

Attendees will learn how to create a personal road map in order to engage in life course child health advocacy.

Attendees will learn how to leverage their child health expertise to advocate in face-to-face, social media and traditional media encounters with legislators, policy-makers and the public.

 Featured Speaker:  Mark Del Monte, JD, CEO/Executive Vice President (Interim) of the American Academy of Pediatrics “Advocacy and the Pediatrician: Optimal Health for All Children”

The AAP designates this live activity for a maximum of 4.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.

To register, click here.

To access the full program outline, click here.

For more information, contact Cathleen Haggerty at


Registration & Room Block are now open for NASN 2019!

Please join us in Denver, CO, June 28 – July 1 (preconference June 27)

For more information, please visit:


State Epidemiologist 617-983-6800 For Calls Related to Infectious Disease and Immunizations ONLY.
Central Cynthia Tomlin 978-567-6250, ext. 10142 978-875-2009
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

MA Department of Public Health

250 Washington Street – 5th Floor

Boston, MA  02108