School Health Education and Services
Section Newsletter
Spring 2009

Chair's Message

29 May 2009

Dear SHES Members and Friends:

As we look ahead to the fall meeting in Philadelphia, I again want to recognize and thank those of you who gave of your time to review abstracts for SHES – our program would not be possible without your volunteer service, and to the many who submitted abstracts for review, we are most grateful!

Our program planning efforts are now in progress, and I am pleased to report that our program this year will include a collaborative working effort between SHES and the newly formed APHA SPIG on Physical Activity; our mutual interests in the importance of promoting physical activity and fitness for the nation, in communities and schools, is altogether fortuitous and fitting.

There is a segment in this newsletter in which we have listed the outstanding program titles for this year’s meeting.  As you will note within the program included in this newsletter, we have 21 sessions that will focus specifically on school health. We have several sessions that are devoted to student abstracts, including our Student Awards Session, where five outstanding students will receive our section’s student awards. We also have another session that has been entitled “Student Abstract Potpourri.”  I would encourage you to attend that session as well to see our “students in action.”

Although our Section Council meetings are relatively early in the morning, I would like to invite all of you to attend these open meetings.  It is at these meetings that we discuss the goals for the Section and set our agenda for action for the following year. We also suggest topics for inclusion in the Annual Meeting program as well as provide input as to who we might recommend as general session speakers for APHA.  Our Section Council meetings will be as follows:

          Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009:                     5:00 p.m.

          Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009:                  7:00 a.m.

          Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009:              7:00 a.m.

The specific location for the Section Council meetings has not yet been determined, but the designated hotel for our section is the Philadelphia Marriott, which is  across the street from the Convention Center.

We have been active in the National Coalition of Health Education Organizations (NCHEO), where our representative, Chris Ledingham, has been presenting the various positions of our section as they arise for discussions within the Coalition.  Moreover, we are aptly represented on the Code of Ethics Task Force by Terry Wessel, who has volunteered her service to that good work. Indeed, there will be continuing discussion of what we can do, as a Section, to ensure that the Code of Ethics for the Health Education Profession is foremost in the minds of all our health education colleagues.

Many of you may have received the survey from the National Commission on Health Education Credentialing.  The process is unde rway to conduct a job analysis of the roles of health educators in the multiplicity of settings in which we practice.  Although the survey is rather lengthy, I hope that if you received it, you will take the time to complete this important survey -- you will be doing a service to the entire profession!

As I close this message I want to again thank the many members of the Section who have served us so well this year.  Participation in the governance of any professional organization depends upon the willingness of individuals to “step to the plate,” and run for office, as well as volunteering to be on Task Forces, or to represent the Section in other activities.  I want to personally thank all those who have made this commitment and have agreed to place their respective names on the ballot for the various positions we have available this year.  I hope all of you, as Section members, will cast your vote.  It sure would be super if we could have the highest voting percentage within all of APHA. 

That’s it for now, with my special acknowledgement to Larry for helping me draft portions of this missive.  I hope to see many of you at the annual meeting, Nov. 7 – 11 in the “City of Brotherly Love,” Philadelphia.


Dan Adame

Chair, SHES

Chair-Elect's Message

Come Join Us in the City of Brotherly Love

Nov. 7 – 11 in
Philadelphia for the Annual Meeting of APHA

We know you have received many announcements about this exciting Annual Meeting. The theme for this year’s meeting is Water and Public Health:  The 21st Century Challenge.  Our section has a total of 21 sessions that we are sponsoring at this year’s Annual Meeting, including 14 oral sessions, 6 poster sessions, and one set of round tables.

We will have over 120 topics that will be presented in the following areas:

Substance Abuse, Obesity, Risk Behaviors, and Policy

School-based Water Related Problems

School-based Water Related Problems

Safe Routes to School, School Safety, and Policy Development

Sexual Health Issues of Youth

Obesity Prevention

Update from CDC Related to School Issues

Wellness and Physical Activity

Youth and Sex, Issues and Resolutions

College Health Issues

Physical Activity and Health

Data Management and College Health

Wellness and Physical Activity; Student Presentations

Student Abstract Award Session

Bullying, Mental Health, Risk Behaviors and Policy Development

Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention

Innovative School, Community, & University Partnerships

Health Literacy

Potpourri of Student Abstracts

Evidence-based Interventions in School Health

School Health Services and Programs

We have two wonderful sessions related to updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  One deals with new “happenings” from CDC related to school health, and the other deals with the concept of health literacy, and what CDC is doing in that area.  We are co-sponsoring sessions as well, in particular in the area of physical activity.

During the student award session, we will be presenting our award winner with a check and a beautiful ribbon, and will be honoring the other students who submitted abstracts for this year’s program. We have two oral sessions in addition to the award session that are for students, and we have a student poster session as well.  For those of you who work in academic settings, we hope you will encourage your students to attend this meeting and come and see what students from around the nation are doing in terms of research and service in the area of school and public health.

In addition, we have three business meetings scheduled that you can attend and present your ideas as to our goals for this coming year.  You should attend the Section Council meetings, just to see how we do business.  Who knows, maybe you will want to become an officer.  In addition we have a wonderful social planned in cooperation with the Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section.

Now Is The Time to Advocate for School Health

For those in favor of quality school health programs, this year presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shape federal policy for long-term good. I am not exaggerating — for the first time in my long career we have leaders in the House, Senate, White House, and Cabinet departments who “get it,” and they have a (probably temporary) mandate from the American voters to “get it done.”

APHA has sophisticated software to help you easily contact your representatives in Congress at The system allows you to customize e-mail messages in your own words. To be even more effective, follow up with your representatives’ local offices and offer yourself as a subject matter expert. Chances are good that your input will be welcomed and valued.

Here are some key issues to weigh in on:

APHA’s 2009 Agenda for Health Reform

  • In addition to endorsing the principle of universal health care coverage, APHA’s agenda emphasizes the need to establish the social and economic conditions that allow individuals and communities to stay healthy. The Association urges that proven community-based health promotion and preventive health services be strengthened to measurably improve health and control costs.
  • In addition to sending a message to your legislators, APHA urges its members to attend town hall meetings and other health-reform related meetings in your state and Congressional district over the next few months. APHA has developed a set of suggested questions about public health and health reform that you can ask. Download APHA’s health reform agenda and the town hall questions at

U.S. Department of Education

  • In its proposal to Congress for the fiscal year 2010 budget, which begins Oct. 1, 2009, the Administration is requesting $100 million for a major new initiative of grant assistance under the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities program “to support new approaches to change school culture and climate and thereby improve character and discipline and reduce drug use, crime, and violence” (this is a lot of money, about five times the entire budget of CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health).
  • In addition, the ED budget proposal includes $77.8 million for grants to local education agencies for comprehensive, community-wide “Safe Schools/Healthy Students” drug and violence prevention projects coordinated with local law enforcement and mental health preventive and treatment services.
  • Another prominent feature of the President’s budget is $800 million to expand access to high-quality early childhood education. For full details on the U.S. Department of Education’s budget proposal, go to

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

  • In one of his first official acts, the new President signed into law an APHA priority, the reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The legislation provides support, options, and incentives for states to provide coverage for an additional 4 million children who are now uninsured. The challenge now is to fully fund and implement it.
  • Another of APHA’s 2009 priorities is to advocate for full funding of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The proposed $8.6 billion budget aims to bring the agency’s core programs back to life after many years of being seriously underfunded. The request includes a $5 million increase for the Division of Adolescent and School Health, and a $53 million increase for the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention.
  • In addition, the HHS budget request includes major levels of new funding for high-quality child care, for Early Head Start and Head Start expansion, and for creating a new Nurse Home Visitation program to support first-time mothers. See for more details.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

  • Congress is expected to complete the long-overdue reauthorization of the Child Nutrition and WIC Program Act this year, accompanied by a $1.8 billion increase in budget for reforms aimed at improving program access; enhancing the nutritional quality of school meals and adding healthy fruits and vegetables; expanding nutrition research and evaluation; promoting strong wellness, nutrition education and physical activity policies; and improving program oversight. The President’s stated goal is to eliminate childhood hunger by 2015.
  • The 2010 budget proposal also includes a $13 million increase for USDA research to strengthen the adoption of the Dietary Guidelines among children, define family-based interventions to prevent obesity in children, define genetic and cultural traits that influence weight gain in various populations, and increase emphasis on developing technologies to produce healthier foods. For more information on the USDA budget, see

You are a tax-paying citizen and have the right to be heard as a private individual. This is a golden chance to make a difference. If not now, when?

What's New in School Health Services

Title:  “I am just a school nurse doing my job.”  Mary Pappas, School Nurse, St Francis Preparatory School , Queens , New York

Submitted by Martha Dewey Bergren, DNS, RN, FNASN, FASHA; NASN Director of Research

The advent of the H1N1 outbreak was a wakeup call to many in the public health and education community on the school nurse’s role in protecting the health of our nation’s children.  Much ado was made out of Mary Pappas, a New York school nurse who immediately reported an abrupt uptick in students with influenza symptoms to the local health department.  Many educators, administrators, legislators and those in the media had been unaware that school nurses conduct surveillance for infectious diseases in school communities.  The H1N1 outbreak reminded decision-makers and stakeholders that school nurses are the canaries in the infectious disease mine and schoolchildren are the Petri dishes for many of the disease causing organisms that sweep through communities. 

School nurses are not just the front line of defense for pandemic influenza, but for many chronic and acute health care issues in the community such as Pertussis, Measles, Mumps, Varicella, hepatitis, West Nile, Noroviris, asthma, MRSA, suicide and obesity. Many states have formal electronic reporting systems that collect real-time absentee and symptom data from school nurses to aid in early detection of outbreaks.

Due to prior experiences with less newsworthy and less critical outbreaks, school nurses were prepared to deal with the H1N1 outbreak.  They were valuable conduits and interpreters between the public health departments and lay school administrators.  Evidence-based handwashing programs and personal respiratory hygiene lessons were given mid-year boosters throughout the nation.  School nurses were able to calm anxious and worried staff, parents and students with factual information and reinforcing the CDC recommendations, which were updated daily.

The H1N1 outbreak provided a trial run for the pandemic influenza plans that were developed in 2006 – 2007 and allowed nurses to determine gaps between the plan and reality.  For example, one issue overlooked in pandemic plans was that no provisions were in place to transport vital daily medication that was normally administered during school hours back to the home for administration during school closures.  Although all of the pandemic plans cited the needs for community agencies to take over breakfast and lunch programs that low-income children receive in school daily, many communities were caught short and had no operable plan for delivering these meals.  In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture funding of school food programs only applies to schools in session.  An USDA alternative plan to feed school aged children would only be implemented if school closing were “prolonged” during a pandemic. 

The CDC, Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of Homeland Security announced a national influenza alert on August 26.  The Department of Education confirmed several days later that the alert activated “emergency” waivers from the Family Education Records Privacy Act (FERPA) privacy provisions which normally require written authorization to disclose student information with the health department.  The October 2007 DOE guidelines provided some clarity regarding when the education system can communicate without written  authorization with local health departments, but days elapsed before privacy issues were specifically addressed in the written updates issued by the Department of Education. There was conflicting advice on whether schools can share surveillance information with the Centers for Disease Control personnel who were present on the ground interacting with education and health department personnel at the seminal outbreak in Queens and in other locations.

The dry run for pandemic influenza plans allowed the school community to make the revisions in the plans necessary for the next outbreak. The recession has forced many school districts to identify areas where budgets can be cut that will cause the least pain and least impact instruction.  Prior to the H1N1 outbreak, many school nurses reported their jobs were in jeopardy.  However, since then, many districts announced they reassessed the priorities, and have decided not to cut school nurse positions, or to cut them less drastically than had been planned.  The H1N1 outbreak was a stress test for the public health system, and the valuable role of the school nurse in the system was reinforced.

Help Make America the Healthiest Nation in One Generation

Let’s face it – as a nation we’re not nearly as healthy as we should be. Compared to other developed nations, we’re lagging far behind. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With your help, we can make America the healthiest nation in just one generation.

As a central component of this year’s National Public Health Week (NPHW) observance, APHA launched an exciting, new viral video campaign. The Healthiest Nation in One Generation video tells the story of the many ways that public health touches our lives. Nearly 25,000 people have already viewed the video online, and the numbers continue to grow each day. If you haven’t checked out the video, watch it today and be sure to share it with your colleagues, family and friends. And stay informed by visiting – NPHW 2009 is over, but our campaign to make America the healthiest nation in one generation is just beginning…

We all have to do our part. What will you do?

APHA Annual Meeting

From Nov. 7-11, 2009, thousands of public health professionals will convene in Philadelphia for the APHA 137th 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. To ensure that no public health professional misses this opportunity, this year’s Annual Meeting will be more affordable than ever. Hotel rates have been slashed so that no rates are higher than $195. Eleven of the 15 contracted hotels are offering rates between $149 and $179. Registration and Housing Open June 1st. Save up to $115 on registration by registering before August 28. Take advantage of these discounts and join your colleagues in a meeting you won’t want to miss. For more information about the Annual Meeting and the role your Section or SPIG will play in its success, visit!

We’re on Twitter: APHAAnnualMtg

Public Health CareerMart

Public Health Career Mart over 1000 jobs listed!

APHA has created the Public Health CareerMart to be the online career resource center in the field of public health.  Here, you’ll find only qualified, industry professionals. Job seekers, instead of searching through hundreds of sites looking for the perfect jobs in public health, you will find it all at Public Health CareerMart, Career Development Center at

Employers, instead of being inundated with stacks of unrelated, irrelevant resumes, you’re much more likely to find the candidates with the skills and experience you’re looking for — and spend less time doing it!  After all, where better to find the best public health professionals than the association that represents them? 

Public Health CareerMart  is a member of the National Healthcare Career Network.

Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention Manual

APHA is proud to annouce the release of "Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention: A Guide for Public Health Practitioners". This manual provides public health professionals with information, skills and tools needed to conduct screening and brief intervention (SBI) to help at-risk drinkers reduce their alcohol use.  Download the manual for free:

New Book on Disability Studies

"Disability and Public Health," published by APHA, is now available. The publication is an important and overdue contribution to the core curriculum of disability studies in public health education. It is a particularly timely book because, as our nation ages, disability is an increasingly significant interdisciplinary area of study and service domain in public health. Visit the APHA online bookstore at < APHA members can also take advantage of a 30 percent member discount whether ordering online or via our toll-free number, (888) 320-2742.

APHA Wants to Know Your Opinion

APHA wants to know your opinion on whether you would use an online version of the Control of Communicable Diseases Manual.  Help us by taking a survey at  We appreciate your input.