SHIELD Updates

Jeffrey Sánchez: Growing up in Public Health

By Julia Garcia July 15, 2019 PROFILE SNAPSHOT For more than 16 years as a Massachusetts State Representative, Jeffrey Sánchez successfully championed public health policies and legislation centered on improving the health and well-being of his constituents in the 15th Suffolk district, as well as residents throughout the Commonwealth. Previously, Jeffrey served as the Chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing and the Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health as well as the Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development. Sánchez also serves as an instructor at the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Long before he was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Jeffrey Sánchez was a kid growing up in the culture of public health. He was the son of an activist mother who led successful efforts to improve living conditions for Mission Hill residents. Unhappy with the health care options in New York, she had moved the family to Boston seeking a second opinion about... More

New Meningococcal School Requirements

In 2005 the FDA licensed the first meningococcal conjugate vaccine protecting against meningococcal strains A, C, W, and Y. The federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) made a routine recommendation for all adolescents to receive a dose of the new vaccine at 11-12 years of age that same year. In 2010 the ACIP added a booster dose of MenACWY vaccine at 16 years of age to the routine recommendation for all adolescents to ensure adequate protection against meningococcal disease. Massachusetts has achieved high immunization rates with the first dose of MenACWY vaccine (over 90%) but rates for the booster dose both nationally and here in MA lag significantly (less than 55%). Immunization requirements for school entry for the 2019-2020 school year will remain the same. However, we want to make you aware that at the start of the 2020-2021 school year, school nurses will need to obtain an immunization record for the meningococcal conjugate vaccine for students entering the 7th and 11th grade, unless... More

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Article: Immunization Division News: Measles in Massachusetts – 2019

Due to routine childhood immunization with the MMR vaccine, measles was declared eliminated from the United States in 2000. That disease elimination success story is currently in jeopardy as, according to CDC, from January 1 to May 10, 2019, 839 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 23 states. This was an increase of 75 cases from the previous week and is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994. Measles has received extensive media attention, in Massachusetts and nationally, during the first few months of 2019. In Massachusetts there has been one confirmed case to date in 2019, out of 87 cases investigated. Last year, in contrast, 24 suspected measles cases were investigated during the same time period (with zero confirmed cases). The recent confirmed case in Massachusetts received quite a bit of publicity following an MDPH press release on 4/1/19 describing possible public exposures throughout the state. Individual towns where exposures took place were notified by MDPH epidemiologists. Forty of... More

Building Strong Children By Erin D. Maughan The number of students with chronic and complex health conditions significantly affects a teacher’s ability to teach and meet the needs of the whole child—especially combined with the impact of societal issues such as poverty, violence, and the growing population of families who speak a language other than English at home. Education in America is free, but healthcare is not. This fact presents a unique divide among schools and even within classrooms, where some students have parents who have good healthcare coverage and seek medical attention regularly, while others come from families who are limited to emergency room visits for chronic illnesses or only see a healthcare professional in life-threatening situations. School nurses can help bridge this divide. Often, they are the only healthcare professional that students see regularly. So when a class includes Paul (who has missed multiple days of school, seems distracted when he does attend, and often has a deep, penetrating cough), Keisha (who stays... More

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5 Ways to Become an Outstanding Nurse Leader

Health Leaders By Jennifer Thew RN  |   May 03, 2019 It's Nurses Week—a time to pause and celebrate all that nurses do. And, as the healthcare industry shares its gratitude this week for nurses, it must not forget to include nurse leaders when giving thanks. Because it's not easy being a nurse leader. "As nurse leaders, we help create circles of care, safety, reliability, quality, and trust for the patients and communities. We are guardians at the gate of all of these things," Cole Edmonson, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, chief clinical officer at AMN Healthcare, Inc., said during the AONE 2019 Keynote introduction. "Leadership in healthcare is not an easy path and, in order to do it well, we have to take time to develop ourselves and those around us," Edmonson said. Get the latest on healthcare leadership in your inbox. While much has changed since the time of Florence Nightingale, the original nurse leader,  the qualities that make a nurse leader great have not. "We must be... More

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Articles: An alarming number of children in America can’t afford food

Experts say many people that are ‘food insecure’ work low-paid jobs, yet still don’t qualify as SNAP recipients By: Jeanette Settembre Published: May 2, 2019 4:53 p.m. ET Millions of Americans don’t have enough money to buy healthy food –– and kids are most at risk. A staggering 97% of counties in the U.S. are home to people who can’t afford or don’t have access to healthy food, according to a study released Wednesday by Feeding America, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that has a network of more than 200 food banks nationwide. Out of America’s 3,142 counties, the rates of food insecurity range from 3% in Steele County, N.D., to as much as 36% in Jefferson County, Miss., the report found. And children are suffering the most: One in six kids (or 12.5 million children) are considered to be food insecure, and an estimated 750,000 live in New York City and Los Angeles. These families are more likely to live in disadvantaged urban areas and also... More

Article: School Grades Trigger Family Violence

By Melissa Bright April 30, 2019 In elementary school, I was typically excited for report cards to come out. I knew my grades were good–which would earn me a reward from my parents–and any notes about my behavior would be neutral at worst. I didn’t realize that for some of my peers, bringing this piece of paper home would be a completely different experience. Fast-forward a few decades, and I’ve started to learn how my peers’ experiences may have differed. A colleague of mine, a pediatrician, explained to me that he and many of his peers, as well as many K-12 teachers, believe that for some children, report cards result in punishment so severe that it turns into physical abuse. It turns out that this idea has been around for some time. I doubted my colleague. But he was right. To test his theory, my colleague and I, along with the rest of our research team, conducted a study of all calls to a... More

Leadership Program: Summer Leadership Institute for School and Public Health Nurses

      Boston University School of Public Health’s Population Health Exchange (PHX) and the School Health Institute for Education and Leadership Development (SHIELD) are collaborating to offer our second annual Leadership Program for School and Public Health Nurses beginning in June, continuing through the year*, and culminating with an advanced leadership  program the following summer. Course topics are tailored to learners and may include: Developing Your Leadership Strengths Communicating for Impact Using the Power of Data to Tell a Story (Story Mapping) Community Assessments w/ an Emphasis on Equity *The team will meet for four additional workshops and a culminating event over the course of the year In addition to providing deep learning opportunities in leadership, this program provides the skills needed to assess for, and effectively communicate about, a community health disparity to initiate change. Audience: School and Public Health Nurses Fee: $1,000 for summer workshop;$2500 for full year **NEW! Due to a generous private scholarship donation, we are able to offer a 40% discount... More

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