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School Health Education and Services
Section Newsletter
Fall 2010

Chair's Message

Hello Colleagues:


Here we are getting everything prepared for the Annual Meeting in November in “warm” Denver.  We have a real exciting program set for this year’s Annual Meeting.  I think you know that the format for the meeting has been “shortened” so we have a more compact time together.  Even so, we will have more than 120 presentations across some 20 sections of presentations at the meeting this year.  I hope to see many of you in attendance.  I also want to remind you that we have open business meetings for the Section, and everyone is invited to attend those meetings.  It is at these meetings, although they are short, that we make our plans for the year, including comments about what we would like to see at the Annual Meeting.  Although you do have a chance to have input into Section business throughout the year, it is at the Annual Meeting that you have a chance to see your officers face-to-face and interact with colleagues from across the nation and internationally.


We will be again honoring our student award winners at a special session, and we have several sessions devoted to student research and programs.  One special session we have planned deals with the changes in the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD).  Many of you may know that the American Association for Health Education (AAHE) has been working to exit from AAHPERD.  Discussions between AAHE and the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) have been under way for the potential purpose of unifying into a single health education profession.  Members of both organizations will be at the APHA meeting to discuss progress and receive your input in regard to your thinking about what potential this has, not only for health educators, but also for all of those who are engaged in any type of education for the health of the public.


One of the things we will be discussing at the Section Business meeting involves how we, as a Section, may become more involved in the Kellogg School Health Initiative.  Terry Wright, formerly with the Kellogg Foundation, is heading up this initiative for APHA. The intent of this initiative is to integrate public health into school-based health, something we have been espousing for a long time.


Through the major efforts of Diane Allensworth, we have a potential policy statement that has been accepted for “vote” at the Annual Meeting.   The “working title” for this policy statement is: Working Collaboratively Across Sectors to Improve Graduation Rates as a Means to Eliminate Health Disparities.”  I don’t know how many of you have ever been to the Joint Policy Board hearings when they do “markups” of the proposed policy statements, but it is an interesting process.  Our proposed policy statement is the first statement in Group A, and I am optimistic that we will be successful in getting this statement approved. You can view the entire proposed statement at the APHA website and look at other proposed policy statements.


We have also been involved in advocacy and have written commentary opposing the attempt by Congress to use the Prevention and Public Health Fund from the Affordable Care Act as an offset for an amendment to the Small Business Jobs and Credit act that was offered by Senator Johanns.  We emphasized that public health must be a priority and this revenues provided a dedicated funding stream for public health and prevention that is essential to address emerging health threats and to begin to control the spiraling chronic disease rates, including type 2 diabetes in youth.  We also sent a commentary related to the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act in which modifications to the HIPPA Privacy, Security, and Enforcement Rules were being made. We requested that schools be exempt from the regulations since mandatory school immunizations have been working and are integral to the protection of the health of children and youth.


On the international advocacy front, we endorsed the Vienna Declaration, which was a scientific statement stressing that conventional illicit drug policies have failed to achieve their intended objectives and that evidence-based public health approaches, including school-based initiatives are urgently needed.   We also were involved in revising a document prepared by the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE):   Promoting health in schools:  From evidence to action.  This document will be circulated worldwide and could influence what happens in the area school health on a global basis. As a part of that effort, we also have “supported” a resolution to promote health, equity and sustainable development in schools proposed to be presented for endorsement at the E-General Assembly of the IUHPE. This will be an electronic meeting of the General Assembly of IUHPE, much the same as the Governing Council of APHA.


The above are but a few of the activities in which the Section has been involved since the last meeting in Philadelphia.  Needless to say, we have been busy promoting school health as a part of the public health agenda.


Congratulations to the newly elected officers


I want to congratulate the newly elected officers for the Section. Susan Wooley was elected as our new Governing Councilor.   She will join Chris Ledingham who is our continuing Governing Councilor.  Joseph Dake and Deitra Wengert were elected as the new Section Councilors. These three individuals will assume office at the close of the Annual Meeting in Denver.


Thanks to those who have served


I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the individuals who will be completing their terms of office at the end of this year’s Annual Meeting.  These individuals include Section Councilors Eric Buhi and Chris Ledingham, Governing Councilor Anthony Parrillo, and Action Board Member Jim Bogden.   I also want to thank those individuals who consented to be a part of the slate for this year’s officers.  Your dedication to helping us promote the health of individuals who are in schools is greatly appreciated, and I sincerely hope that you will consider running again.


An invitation


I sincerely invite everyone to become active in the Section by inviting your colleagues to join the Section, or by considering running for Section office.  The chair of the Section is always anxious to involve Section members in the various activities of the Section, so if you would like to be considered for inclusion on a Section Committee or Task Force, please contact me at


I hope to see you at our Section Social on Monday, Nov. 8, 2010 in Denver!



Larry K. Olsen

Annual Meeting News



From Nov. 6-10, 2010, join us in Denver for the APHA 138th Annual Meeting and Exposition.  More than 1,000 cutting-edge scientific sessions will be presented by public health researchers, academicians, policy-makers and practitioners on the most current public health issues facing the nation today. For more information about the Annual Meeting, visit 


Our section will have a strong presence at the meeting. View the sessions sponsored by our section by visiting the interactive Online Program. Search the program using keyword, author name or date.  Don’t forget to stop by our new booth in the Section and SPIG pavilion (booth 1370) in the Public Health Expo next to Everything APHA.


If you would like to become more involved in our section, don’t forget to put on your schedule the business meetings (Sunday evening from 5-7 p.m. and Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 7-8 a.m.).  At these meetings sessions will be planned for the 2011 conference and Section leadership identified. 


Another fun event to put on your conference schedule is the Social on Monday evening from 6:30-8 p.m. (jointly sponsored by Public Health Education and Health Promotion and Physical Activity).  The objectives of this social are to eat, drink, and be merry! 

The Governing Structure of APHA

Executive Board meeting, Governing Council meeting, section business meeting…perhaps you, like me, skim past these meetings while determining your APHA meeting schedule thinking these aren't for you.  So I have undertaken this article in order to make myself (and hopefully you) more educated about the governing structure of APHA. 

The Governing Council is described as the “legislative body” of APHA.  It consists of voting and non-voting members of various constituencies within the Association.  Voting members are elected and include representatives from each section as well as the elected members of the Executive Council.  Non-voting members include the chairs of various committees and all sections, as well as the executive director and all past presidents of the Association. 

The Executive Board serves on behalf of the Governing Council.  The Executive Board meets regularly throughout the year and has the responsibility of electing the executive director of the organization, managing the organization’s finances, and appointing membership to association boards and committees.  The members of the Executive Board are elected by the Governing Council for 4-year terms. 

There are 27 sections, which represent major public health disciplines.  Each member can choose to be a part of one or more sections.  APHA uses sections as their primary professional units.  Sections are run by elected officers and play an important role in coordinating sessions during APHA conferences as well as keeping their section membership abreast of discipline specific news.  Sections also elect councilors to the Governing Council.  Term lengths vary depending on the section.  In SHES, we elect individuals to 3-year terms. 

For more information on this topic, please check out  And if you have some free time at the conference, check out one of the above meetings!

By Sarah Lindstrom Johnson 

Advocacy in Action

 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act: Modifications to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Enforcement Rules


The SHES Section participated in the public comment period for the proposed HIPAA revisions that pertain to the school's role in immunization compliance.  For full text of the revisions: 


Below find the text of our comment:


Public health is everyone’s responsibility; it is not confined to public health departments.  There are numerous community agencies and organizations that work in concert to protect the public's health, including schools. 


In the HIPAA regulations, a public health authority is defined as "an agency or authority of.., a State, . ., a political subdivision of a State . . that is responsible for public health matters as part of its official mandate."   Section 164.512(b) permits the disclosure of personally identifiable health information for the public health activities.  i) A public health authority that is authorized by law to collect or receive such information for the purpose of preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability, including but not limited to, the reporting of disease, injury, vital events such as birth or death, and the conduct of public health surveillance, public health investigations, and public health interventions; ."


For more than 100 years, schools have enforced immunization requirements for school age children.  These requirements have been designed to not only protect the individual, but also to protect the public from vaccine preventable diseases.  Schools, without any type of reimbursement, have,  by state mandate, enforced  the public health requirement that all school children receive the mandated immunizations for entry into the school system. In this role, schools have and should be allowed to continue to perform an essential public health activity within the United States public health system.  As noted, the success of school immunization requirements has contributed significantly to the decrease in morbidity and mortality in the United States over the last 100 years.


Requiring providers to obtain parent permission to share personally identifiable information to comply with state public health mandates, be it written or oral, is burdensome and costly to parents, providers and the schools, and interferes in a process that has worked efficiently for over a century until the advent of HIPAA.


The growing numbers of vaccines and the increasing complexity of vaccination schedules make monitoring, delivering, and reporting vaccinations increasingly difficult for providers, schools, and public health systems.  The current resources and energies devoted to processing forms and consents could be better devoted to implementing evidence-based interventions designed to increase the number of children and adolescents who are fully immunized.  This would further the overall public health mission of protecting the body politic from unnecessary risks associated with vaccine preventable diseases.


The School Health Education and Services Section (SHES) of APHA strongly recommends that  the Department of Health and Human Services explicitly empower HIPAA covered entities to  confidentially share personally identifiable immunization information with schools for children in all grade levels of Pre-K – 12 school entry as a public health exemption under the HIPAA Privacy Rule.


Larry K. Olsen, MAT, MPH, DrPH, CHES

Chair, School Health Education and Services Section





What's New in School Health Services

The National Quality Forum Child Health Outcome Measures

The National Quality Forum solicited public comments on its Voluntary Consensus Standards for Patient Outcomes: Child Health and Mental Health (Phase III).   NQF recognizes that child health quality is an important, under-emphasized area of measure development and endorsement.  Although NQF has endorsed more than 70 child health measures, they are specific to children who are hospitalized or who are chronically ill.  In November 2009, NQF launched a new initiative, the Child Health Outcomes Project. A preliminary set of suggested measures was released in July 2010, and public comments were solicited until August 11. 


School nurses were encouraged that the NQF for recognizing the gap in outcomes measures for the promotion of healthy behaviors and of the need to capture “influences and cost information on children’s well being outside of traditional healthcare, such as the community, schools, and the environment”.  A significant amount of health care is provided by school nurses in schools every day, where 98 percent of our nation’s children spend six or more hours per day. Schools are unrecognized in their key role in the nation’s public health mission. Several suggested criteria will capture the impact of school health services on children.  The suggested measures provide a better perspective of the health of all children, not just those with acute conditions or those who are frequently hospitalized.

School nurses, through the National Association of School Nurses and individually, made public comments supporting the following outcomes that measure health promotion and interventions that occur in schools: 


-      OT3-031-10: Healthy term newborn

-      OT3-031-10: Number of school days children miss due to illness

-      OT3-036-10: Children who have problems obtaining referrals when needed

-      OT3-038-10: (a) Children who did not receive care coordination services when needed

-      OT3-038-10: (b) Children who did not receive satisfactory communication when needed

-      OT3-041-10: Children who attend schools perceived as safe

-      OT3-055-10: Gastroenteritis admission rate (pediatric)

-      OT3:043-10: Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC)

-      OT3-044-10: Children who have inadequate insurance coverage for optimal care

-      OT3-045-10: Measure of medical home for children and adolescents

-      OT3-057-10: Asthma admission rate (pediatric)


These criteria will measure the holistic role that schools play in protecting the health of children, connecting them and their families to medical homes and insurance, and coordination of care for children with chronic diseases and mental health issues in schools.  School nurse also suggested future outcome measure for the NQF to consider:

·         Graduation rates

·         School achievement

·         Quality of life

·         Child Behavior Checklist

·         Child injuries

·         Immunizations / or vaccine preventable diseases

·         BMI, healthy weight, nutrition status


To learn more about this National Quality Forum and its work, visit:

What's New in School Health Education

We would love to provide our members with an update.  If you would be willing to write this column for the newsletter, please e-mail Sarah Lindstrom Johnson at .  

Student Section

Making the Most of Your Conference Experience: Top 10 List

Modified from


1. Explore the conference schedule as soon as it’s available. Don’t wait until the event has started before planning your schedule. The bigger conferences have schedules the size of a telephone directory — you can’t hope to attend even a fraction of what’s  offered. Be selective and strategic about your planning schedule. Begin by focusing on the Divisions and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) relevant to your research interests.


2. Find out what evening social events your professors plan to attend and ask if you can tag along. The good ones will always be willing to do this for exemplary students. They know a lot more people than you do, and can assist with appropriate introductions. Your side of the bargain is to have a good elevator pitch and professional c.v. on hand, which makes faculty look good for promoting you. But even when you’re on your own, leverage every social opportunity you get. You never know when individuals you meet casually over a drink or meal could be a peer reviewer for a journal article that you submit, or a future colleague. Make time (and have plenty of energy) for socializing!


3. Write, edit, and practice, practice, practice what is called in the business world your “elevator pitch” – basically, the ability to talk about yourself and your research interests in the briefest moment of time. Prepare several versions:

a) The 30-second version for brief introductions.

b) The one-minute version for people you are interested in networking with.

c) The (slightly!) longer version when someone asks you to tell them more.


4. E-mail key researchers you’d like to meet ahead of time. Be clear and succinct about why you’d like to visit with them (use your “elevator pitch” as a guide), and invite them to coffee. Even though you’re a graduate student you may have a perspective around their research area that could be of interest to them. Or you may be planning to replicate an experiment of theirs (or have done so already) that they might like to hear about.


5. Have some inexpensive business cards printed — with your name, e-mail address, affiliation and a word or two about your research interests. That way when the other person returns to their office they have something tangible and, hopefully, memorable to link with you.



6. Stay at the conference hotel whenever possible. Not only does that give you more time to attend sessions and evening events, but being on the premises increases the number of chance encounters you could benefit from. “Some of the best conversations and even contacts I've had were made in a hotel lobby or coffee shop,” is a common experience for many graduate students.


7. Dress for success! If you want people to regard and treat you as a fellow professional then be mindful of your appearance at all times. Being “smart” means more than having superior brainpower.


8. Don't drink alcohol unless you are in a different physical location from the people with whom you want to develop future professional relationships and you are sure you will be separated for the rest of the evening.


9. If someone says they’re too busy to speak with you, don’t take it personally. Be gracioussay it was nice to meet them albeit briefly, smile, and walk away. That favorable impression may make them more amenable to a discussion sometime in the future. Never become the academic equivalent of a groupie!



10. Send a brief e-mail to key people that you met at the conference, particularly if they went out of their way to help you, saying something about what you got out of the conversation or their presentation. Respectfully maintain lines of communication throughout the year… that doesn’t mean bombarding them with e-mails, but neither is it a good idea to leave it just before the next event before popping up again!



Conferences and Publications


2010 SOPHE Annual Meeting

Healthy People 2020: Scaling New Heights

Nov. 4-6, Denver

Denver Marriott City Center


Public health professionals working in disease prevention and health promotion have much to celebrate and still more to discover. At the conclusion of the Healthy People 2010 decade, we should pause to take stock of our achievements and learn from our challenges. At this conference, plenary speakers and presenters will share progress and discovery in disease prevention and health promotion, discuss goals and expectations for the next decade, and describe innovative strategies for achieving those objectives. Also, you will not want to miss out on all the celebrations as SOPHE concludes its 60th Anniversary year, and launches a new strategic plan for the years ahead!


For registration information go to



Sixteenth Annual Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Conference

Using Epidemiology to Improve Maternal and Child Health

Dec. 15-17, 2010

San Antonio, Texas


Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology (MCH EPI) Conference organizers invite you to join other researchers and health professionals working on issues related to improving the health of women, children and families in sharing research, enhancing knowledge, and generating new ideas for improved MCH data use and informed policy-making.

For registration information go to


School Nurses: Keeping Children Healthy and Ready to Learn

The latest issue of Charting Nursing's Future explores the vital role of school nurses, and the challenge of making sure we have enough of them.