School Health Services Update: June 13, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

Many schools are already finished for the year and many more are ending this week and next.  This is the final MDPH Email Update for the 2018-2019 School Year and the final MDPH Email Update from me as the Director of School Health Services!  As you know, I am retiring as of June 28th as well as Janet Burke, Medication Administration Program Coordinator, who also retires the end of the month!

Working with each of you has been such a wonderful experience, and I will cherish the memories forever. Life is fleeting, so I have decided to retire and leave behind the workforce (and the daily commute to Boston!) so I can enjoy reading, biking, walking the beach and watching my grandchildren grow up (after I catch up on my sleep!). I have worked as a school nurse for over 25 years, and although these have been some of the best years of my life, I am looking forward to the next chapter.  I wish I could personally thank each one of you for the support and guidance you have given me while we worked together. I have grown personally and professionally in this role, and am very gratified with the work I have done here at the Department, the privilege I have had serving students and families, the honor to work with school health personnel across the state, my fortune to learn with colleagues at DPH and the departmental changes I have helped to effect. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time and I have been honored and humbled to work with all of you.  I do hope that we will all keep in touch.

After July 1, 2019, Jill Clark, the Director of the Division of Child/Adolescent and Reproductive Health, will be the contact for the School Health Unit until new staff are onboard.  The hiring process for all three Unit positions, the Director of School Health Services, the School Health Coordinator and the Medication Administration Program Coordinator is currently underway.  Please feel free to contact Jill at with any concerns and questions in the interim.

Remember that we all do better when we all do better!  Thank you again for your support and for helping us all to serve our children better!

I wish you all the best!

Mary Ann


SHIELD School Nurse Leadership Institute: Advocate. Inspire. Change

School nurses from across the state participated in the second annual School Nurse Leadership Institute at Boston University!  A warm thank you to Beverly Heinz-Lacey, RN, MPH, Director of SHIELD and Leslie Tellalian, MSEd, Director of Lifelong Learning at the BU School of Public Health for their expert coordination and facilitation of this program. This leadership program included school nurses, public health nurses and nurses from school-based healthcenters; these nurses have worked together to develop a shared vision for moving school nursing forward in Massachusetts!  It was an opportunity to support and celebrate one another while creating a learning community.  Speakers included public health faculty from the Boston University School of Public Health as well as such notable nursing leaders as Karen Daley, PhD, RN, FAAN, Past President of the American Nurses Association, and Erin Maughan, Erin Maughan, PhD, MS, RN, PHNA-BC, FNASN, FAAN, Director of Research at NASN!  I encourage all of you to consider participating in this leadership program in the future…remember ALL school nurses are leaders and the experts in health in their schools!

School Nurse professionals from SHIELD were in the spotlight this week as the Population Health Exchange School Nurse Leadership Institute was underway.

In this picture, Boston University School of Public Health professor, Jacey Greece, DSc, MPH, discusses planning successful methods of practical application to school nursing leaders from across the state!

Congratulations to School Nurses who will be presenting the SBIRT in Schools model at the School Nurses International Conference in Sweden this summer!

Rita Casper, RN, MBA, Director of Nursing for the Andover Public Schools, Doreen Crowe, Doreen Crowe, MEd, BSN, RN, Director of Nursing Services, Wilmington Public Schools, Cathy Riccio, Cathy J Riccio BSN,  MS, MSN, RN, Nurse Leader for the Newburyport Public Schools and Shanyn A Toulouse, MEd, BSN, RN, NCSN, Northeast Regional School Nurse Consultant, (all members of the first cohort, the Nurse Empowerment Team at the SHIELD School Nurse Leadership Institute) will be headed to Sweden this summer to present on the success of SBIRT in their districts!

We wish them safe travels, much learning and great fun!