School Health Education and Services
Section Newsletter
Fall 2008

Chair's Message

15 September 2008

Dear Colleagues:

I await to see you in San Diego very soon now.

I am delightfully reminded by Larry Olsen, SHES membership chair, that our membership number has grown considerably, and that while on the one hand we are certainly to be congratulated, we also need to remember that this has taken a concerted effort to achieve. Therefore I remind all of us to work diligently and consistently to continue to bring new members into SHES. Indeed, among the sections of APHA, we may be small, but we carry "clout."

As a friendly reminder, let me say in passing that our sister organizations, ASHA, meets in Tampa Nov. 12-15; and that SOPHE gathers in San Diego Oct. 23-25, 2008.

A well worthwhile program for APHA and SHES has been planned for San Diego, thanks to the collaborative teamwork all of you have brought to bear in its evolution and development.

If for any reason you are unable to join us, I'll look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia in fall of 2009.

As they say in California, "Hasta la vista!"

Dan Adame
Chair, SHES

Advocacy in Action

The 2008 Elections: Learn; Choose; Advocate!


By Jim Bogden


The Nov. 4 election is perhaps the most important one in a generation. The major parties have selected candidates with very distinct points of view on reforming the health insurance and education systems. The election results are likely to have long-lasting effects on the direction of the nation.


APHA has developed a short list of questions that can help start conversations about public health with candidates running for local, state and national office. The questions can be easily tailored to highlight local issues and concerns. One of APHA’s goals is to generate interest in prevention and support for public health infrastructure, including school health education and services. Access the list and many background and support resources at


If you are still one of the rare voters who is undecided about the presidential race and wants to know more about the candidates’ positions, access Republican John McCain’s proposals at On the topic of reducing health care costs, his Web site says,


Chronic conditions account for three-quarters of the nation’s annual health care bill. By emphasizing prevention, early intervention, healthy habits, new treatment models, new public health infrastructure and the use of information technology, we can reduce health care costs. We should dedicate more federal research to caring and curing chronic disease.”


Democratic candidate Barack Obama’s proposals can be found at He prefaces his health care reform ideas with the following diagnosis of its major problems:


“Millions of Americans are uninsured or underinsured because of rising medical costs: 46 million Americans — including over 8 million children — lack health insurance with no signs of this trend slowing down.


“Health care costs are skyrocketing: Health insurance premiums have risen 4 times faster than wages over the past 6 years.


“Too little is spent on prevention and public health: The nation faces epidemics of obesity and chronic diseases as well as new threats of pandemic flu and bioterrorism. Yet despite all of this less than 4 cents of every health care dollar is spent on prevention and public health.”


Several neutral organizations have analyzed, compared and summarized the candidates’ proposals:

  • In mid-September 2008 Health Affairs, a nonpartisan, peer-reviewed journal of health policy thought and research, published detailed critiques of the candidates’ health care reform plans along with an article that attempts to blend the best features of both plans. Access the series at
  • The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (no relation to the HMO) maintains a comprehensive Web site of election news and analysis called Among its resources is a side-by-side comparison of the presidential candidates’ plans ( and election briefs on health policy issues that provide key facts, policy options and assessments of the candidates’ plans.
  • The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) also offers a side-by-side comparison of the candidates’ proposals at


On the education side, both candidates are putting forward generally similar ideas. For more details, the nonprofit newspaper Education Week maintains a Campaign08 Web site at, which includes state-by-state election information.


Research what the parties and candidates are proposing and then get involved! Your children and grandchildren will thank you.

What's New in School Health Education

By Michael J. Ludwig, PhD


At the end of 2007, the CDC released the Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT).  This coincided with the release of the 2nd edition of the National Health Education Standards: Achieving Excellence (NHES).  Each document provides support and documentation to enable school health education to have a positive impact on the acquisition and maintenance of health-enhancing practices and behaviors in America ’s youth population.  Additionally, each document stresses the importance of functional knowledge related to a wide variety of health information and concepts.   As we near the end of 2008, both documents are gaining wider recognition while being disseminated to key stakeholders (state education directors, school superintendents, school principals, curriculum specialists and teachers).


Thanks to the generous support of the American Association for Health Education and the American Cancer Society, a series of NHES trainings were available to designated state representatives from across the United States.  The NHES is available from the American Cancer Society’s Web site.  It is available in three formats: print (29.95), CD-ROM (19.95), and PDF (9.95).  The HECAT is available free from the CDC via online ordering, or it can be downloaded directly to your computer.  In the appendix of the HECAT, health education assessment is described:


In today’s approach to health education assessment, educators set academic standards, or learning targets, indicating what students should know (content) and be able to do (skills) as a result of the instruction. With this approach, the student’s goal is not to compete with and “beat” other students, but rather, to reach proficiency in meeting the target standards. The teacher’s goal is not to sort and rank, but to assess student work over time and provide descriptive feedback so students have the opportunity to improve. All students, therefore, have the opportunity to succeed (CDC, 2007, p. A6-1).


Lastly, the CDC has created on online, searchable database, the School Health Education Resources (SHER) page.  On that one page are links to the NHES, HECAT, and the CDC’s Characteristics of Effective Health Education Curricula.  The database contains over 450 health education resources that are directly accessible from any computer with an Internet connection.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2008). School Health Education Resources, Atlanta: CDC [available online at:]


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2007). Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool, Atlanta: CDC. [available online at:]



Joint Committee on National Health Education Standars (2007). National Health Education Standards: Achieving Excellence, (2nd edition). American Cancer Society.  [available online at:]

What's New in School Health Services

House Bill 6201: Student to School Nurse Ratio Improvement Act of 2008


By Martha Dewey Bergren, DNS, RN, NCSN, FNASN


Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, of New York, introduced a bill on June 5, 2008 on behalf of herself and Rep. Lois Capps of California  to reduce the student-to-school nurse ratio in public secondary schools, elementary schools and kindergarten.  The Act would provide competitive grants through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to eligible states and report to Congress on the effectiveness of the program on health and education outcomes. 


Currently, more than 50 percent of public schools in the United States do not have a full time Registered Nurse (National Association of School Nurses, 2008). Wide ratio disparities exist from state to state, within school districts, and between urban and rural schools.

The bill is cosponsored by Reps. Marion Berry and Mike Ross of Arkansas, Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota, George Butterfield of North Carolina, and Barney Frank of Massachusetts.  Rep. McCarthy is a licensed practical nurse, and Rep. Capps is a registered nurse and former school nurse. 

NASN is currently circulating a support letter for this bill to organizations and groups concerned with the health and education of children. 

The full text of the bill can be found at the Library of Congress:

CNHEO News and Updates

By Christopher Ledingham, MPH, PhD, CHES

The Coalition of National Health Education Organizations (of which SHES is a member) is a grouping of 10 member-based organizations in the health education and health promotion fields.  The Coalition has as its primary mission the mobilization of the resources of the health education profession in order to expand and improve health education, regardless of the setting.  In the last few months the Coalition has both completed work on a few projects and started new work on some very important issues regarding the field of health education.  Here a few updates on the work of the Coalition.


  • The Profession-wide Marketing Task Force, working with an external group, completed initial work on the Marketing the Health Education Profession: Knowledge, Attitudes and Hiring Practices of Employers project.  The executive summary is available at
  • The Ethics Task Force is being reconstituted and will be charged with updating the Health Education Code of Ethics. Our representative on this task force will be Maria Theresa Wessel.
  • The Coalition has signed on to numerous advocacy support letters sent to both the House and Senate in support of major health related issues affecting our citizens today.
  • Planning is under way for the 2009 Health Education Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C.  Please visit for more information.


Our representative to the Coalition is Christopher M. Ledingham. You can contact him at or visit the Coalition Web site at

Good News!

After 17 years at the National Association of State Boards of Education, SHES Action Board Representative Jim Bogden has moved to the American Psychological Association as the new director for the Healthy Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Students Project. Both associations have cooperative agreements with CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health. The focus of the APA project is HIV prevention for young African American and Latino men who are attracted to or have sex with men. 



Jim's new e-mail address is For APHA work, he still prefers his personal address,