School Health Education and Services
Section Newsletter
Winter 2006

Message From the Chair


Message from the Chair: 2006 -- A Good Year for School Health

Health issues of children, adolescents, and young adults are in the news. Childhood obesity is referred to as an epidemic, young people are reported as becoming sexually active at younger and younger ages, and too many young people abuse alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, just to name a few health issues of this age group. And as my mentor, Jim Bogden in the last SHES Newsletter so eloquently reminded us of important lessons from the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, we must also be prepared for the unexpected catastrophes that can add further health problems and unspeakable suffering to the every day lives of children and their families.

But in spite of the above mentioned problems, I’m optimistic about school health education and services. I predict it will be a good year!

There are many health professionals who are dedicating their professional lives to improving the health of our children and youth and they are doing so in a variety of ways.

Research: As evidenced by the tremendous number of abstracts submitted to SHES for the 2005 APHA Annual Meeting, research is being conducted across the country to determine best practices for providing health education and services to children in youth, whether in schools, after school programs, community groups or other settings. This research is carefully planned and implemented to determine what programs and strategies can make a difference in the health behavior of the target population. The research is funded by government agencies, foundations, colleges and universities and also by independent individuals. Collectively the research can continue to improve health education and services for greater impact on the children and youth.

Program Implementation: The Annual Meeting also provided an opportunity to learn about health education programs designed for children to young adults. It was so exciting to hear about innovative programs that have been conducted or are currently under way in many states and other countries. I am impressed with the number of people who spend countless hours working with children as mentors, teachers, health care providers etc. They are implementing scientifically proven or promising programs to make a difference. The use of technology, creative arts, advocacy education among other strategies will hopefully impact childhood obesity, substance abuse and other health problems.

Advocacy: Even if we have significant research and dedicated health educators implementing programs, effective health education faces great difficulties without supportive policies, laws and funding. Advocacy efforts to support school health are underway from the grassroots level to the federal level. Students are being trained and given the opportunity to change their local environments in addressing such issues as smoking policies. Ideally these students will continue their advocacy efforts locally and on a larger scale. Our own APHA works to promote a positive health agenda at the Federal Level. For just one example, APHA has recently been working to prevent cuts to Medicaid, which could impact child support enforcement efforts.

National Public Health Week 2006: Designing Healthy Communities, Raising Healthy Kids. April 3-9, 2006. The theme of this year’s National Public Health Week sums up my reasons for being optimistic about school health education and services. This will be a terrific opportunity to showcase school health research as well as effective programs that impact the health of children. School health research and programs are fuel for advocacy efforts. We can say: “Look what is being done! Look what more needs to be done to provide for the health education and services of our children!” We can highlight our efforts, not just during National Public Health Week, but throughout the year.

Invite other health educators to join SHES as part of APHA. We can do even more to promote school health education and services. Don’t let them be left out of a very good year!

My thanks to Jim Bogden and all the other SHES leaders before me. They have left a great legacy for our section.

Student Corner

Jeanette A. Stingone 2005 Student Abstract Winner

Congratulations to Jeanette Stingone for being the 2005 winner of the “Outstanding Student Research Award”. Last year 30 abstracts were submitted to SHES by students in public health degree programs, 27 of which were accepted for presentation in Philadelphia. SHES is widely known in APHA as particularly welcoming to students.

Jeanette Stingone, now at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, won the section's annual award for the most outstanding student research abstract. As part of her MPH program she examined 24 New York City public schools to determine if children with asthma are at an increased risk of requiring special education services (they are).  Stingone received a $200 cash award and was presented a plaque by SHES Section Chair Jim Bogden. He said, "Jeanette clearly deserved the award. Her presentation was a solid example of innovative public health research. It was interesting and well delivered."  Stingone presented her research findings at the 2005 APHA annual meeting in Philadelphia. Below is her winning abstract.

Jeanette A. Stingone, MPH, Leon Tulton, BS, and Luz Claudio, PhD. Community and Preventive Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1057, New York, NY 10029, (212) 241-1426,

Background: Asthma is a significant school health issue affecting urban youth. While previous research has shown that asthmatic children miss more school than non-asthmatics, the effect of asthma on academic performance remains to be determined. Objective: The objective of this study was to determine if urban children with asthma are at an increased risk of requiring special education services, a surrogate marker for academic performance and learning difficulties. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 24 randomly selected public elementary schools in New York City. The parent-report questionnaire contained standardized items on sociodemographics, special education enrollment, asthma diagnosis/symptoms, school absences, medications and healthcare utilization. Results: Overall, 4,899 questionnaires were returned (77 percent). The prevalence of current asthma was significantly greater among special education students when compared to students in general education (18.3 percent vs 11.9 percent, p<.01). After controlling for demographic factors, children with current asthma were 60 percent more likely to require special education services (OR=1.62, 1.22-2.16, 95 percent CI). Among asthmatics, household income, hospitalization in the previous 12 months, and duration of disease were all significantly associated with special education. Asthmatic children in special education were also more likely to use medications at school and averaged more school absences during a two-week period, although these results did not reach significance. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that asthmatic children have an increased risk of learning difficulties. Further research is needed to identify children whose chronic disease may be affecting their ability to learn, and evaluate whether improving disease management and control can improve academic performance.

Learning Objectives:

  • 1. Describe and discuss the strengths and limitations of using a parent-report survey to gather student health data.
  • 2. Recognize the social and disease-related factors that are associated with academic outcomes among asthmatic children.
  • 3. Apply results to inform the development of tailored school-based asthma interventions.

Welcome New Section Council Members

New Section Council Meets in Philadelphia

SHES experienced its biannual changing of the guard in Philadelphia as Terry Wessel of James Madison
assumed the
role of Section Chair for the next two years, replacing Jim Bogden of
the National Association of State Boards of Education. Waiting in the wings as
the new Chair-Elect is Dan Adame of Emory University.
Terry will again be the primary program planner in 2006 with Dan as her
apprentice in preparation for taking hold of the program planning reins next
year. The two-year rotation as program chair and section chair has worked out
well for SHES in recent years.

Moving into the Secretary position is Carl Hanson of Brigham Young University,
who has ably produced the SHES newsletter the past two years. Julie Gast
of Utah State University
is the newly elected Secretary-Elect and Newsletter Editor for the next two
years. Jossolyn Edwards of Columbia
was elected by
the Section Council to fill the remaining year of Julie’s unexpired term on the

New Section Councilors beginning three-year terms are
Janet Collins
of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Martha
Dewey Bergren
of the University of
Illinois at Chicago. They join returning Councilors Fred
of the University
of Texas
, Rachel
of Illinois School District 96, and Chris Ledingham of Texas

Larry Olsen of New Mexico State
began another two-year term as SHES representative to the APHA Governing
Council, joining John Moore of the CDC Foundation. The Section Council
elected Diane Allensworth of CDC to fill the open position of SHES
representative to the APHA Action Board, which sets advocacy priorities for the

Bill Cissell’s six-year commitment as SHES
Chair-Elect, Chair, and Immediate Past Chair came to an end. The Section owes
Bill a great deal of gratitude for helping the section grow and thrive under
this tutelage. Bill also stepped down as the SHES delegate to the Coalition of
National Health Education Organizations (CNHEO), although he will continue to
serve on several of its committees and task forces. Chris Ledingham agreed to
serve as the section’s new CNHEO delegate (along with being webmaster and
liaison to the APHA Student Assembly).


Other retiring SHES leaders include Carolyn Mikanowicz
of Youngstown State
University who served as Secretary the
past two years, and RuthAnn Althaus of Xavier University
who was Action Board representative and previously served on the Section
Council. Thank you for your time and effort!


For a full list of SHES liaisons and appointed positions,
which provides a good glimpse of everything the section is involved with, visit
the Section’s revamped website at


SHES Membership Survey Results

Who We Are and What We Want

Results of the SHES Member Survey

We all know that needs assessment is an essential planning step. In early December SHES administered an online Zoomerang survey of members to help the Section Council determine priorities and plan activities. A total of 45 SHES members responded to the survey. Please click on the link below to view highlights of the results.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey. You comments and suggestions are always welcome.

Related Files:
results and graphs of SHES survey

National Health Education Standards to Be Published Soon

National Health Education Standards Update

The original National Health education Standards (NHES) report was produced in 1995. It has served the promotion of health literacy skills in school students as well as development of state and local curriculum standards in a number of ways over the years. There is currently a project to review, revise, and update the 1995 NHES document for production of a new updated NHES document for 2006. Lead organizations and co-sponsors for the project include the American Association for Health Education, American Cancer society, American School Health Association, the School Health Education and Services section (SHES) of the American Public Health Association, and the Society of State Directors for HPER.

The review and revision process in near completion. The NHES Review and Revision Panel members wish to thank the many professional who have supported the process and provided invaluable feedback to the Panel through three the online public reviews that were conducted. At this time, the final revised document is expected to be in print around May 2006. In addition to the standards statements, the complete document will include over 100 pages of information providing guidance on the implementation and assessment of the standards.

--Fred L. Peterson, NHES Advisory Panel Member

National Transition Task Force on Accreditation in Health Education

The National Transition Task Force on Accreditation in Health Education invitational meeting was held  on Feb. 23-25, 2006, in Dallas

Call for SHES Abstracts

APHA's School Health Education and Services Section invites abstracts for oral presentations and posters from those with an interest in the health and well being of students and staff members in preschool, K-12 school, and college settings. Rigorously designed research findings, case studies and practioners' experiences regarding current best practices and policies are invited, particularly those that address the following topics:

  • Abstinence-only vs Comprehensive Sexuality Education: Scientific Research on Effectiveness of Programs;
  • Academic Achievement and School Health;
  • Advocacy: Enhancing School Health with Policies and Resources;
  • Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Prevention Programs for Youth;
  • Bullying and Violence Prevention Programs for Schools and Colleges;
  • Emergency Preparedness and Safety Issues in Schools and Colleges;
  • Fitness Issues and Programs for Schools and Colleges;
  • GLBT Youth: Meeting the Health Needs of all Students;
  • Healthy School Nutrtion Envrionments for Obesity Prevention ;
  • Innovative Strategies and Programs in School Health;
  • Joint School Health & Nutrition Track: Model Policies and Best Practices to Improve the School Nutrition and Activity Environments;
  • Joint School Health & Nutrition Track: School wellness policies: coalition experiences and strategies ;
  • School Health Services;
  • Sexual Health Issues of Youth ;
  • Other topics not listed related to school health .

The list of topics is preliminary and subject to later revision. Abstracts are expected to described actual, not anticipated, findings. Reviewers will assess abstracts according to the following criteria:

- Significance of study.
- Appropriate methodology.
- Significance of findings.
- Quality of conclusions or recommendations.
- Usefulness for supporting or strengthening school health.

Please include learner-centered objectives for oral sessions to qualify for continuing education credit approval.

Currently enrolled public health students are especially encouraged to submit abstracts of research work performed to satisfy academic coursework or requirements. Be sure to identify your academic program and institution. The section will present an award for the best student research abstract.

Program Planner Contact Information:
Maria Theresa Wessel, EdD, CHES
Department of Health Sciences
James Madison University
MSC 4301
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Phone: (540) 568-3955
Fax: (540) 568-3336

Daniel Adame
Emory University

James F. Bogden, MPH
National Association of State Boards of Education

277 S. Washington Street
Suite 100
Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone: (703) 684-4000x108
Fax: (703) 836-2313

Schools and Flu

SHES is very concerned about helping the nation's schools prepare for 
a possible pandemic of influenza. The Section Council discussed the 
issue with a specialist at one of its meetings in Philadelphia and 
decided to work on submitting a 2006 APHA resolution on pandemic flu 
and schools.

Just recently APHA decided to compile many proposals into a major 
resolution on pandemic flu. It will touch on a comprehensive range of 
subtopics including those of interest to school health practitioners. 
SHES is involved in helping to prepare that resolution. In addition, 
SHES is drafting another resolution to promote handwashing in schools.

Health Education Advocacy Summit in March

Plan Ahead for 2006 Health Education Advocacy Summit

The next National Health Education Advocacy Summit will be held March 11-13, 2006, in Washington, D.C. Once again participants will be able to receive either basic or advanced-level advocacy training, briefings on specific legislative issues by experienced professionals from the government relations staffs of key public health organizations, and arrange and conduct visits — either individually or in state delegations — with Congressional representatives or other federal officials. Both the summit advocacy training and the Congressional visits enable the health education profession to speak with a collective voice on priority legislative issues of vital interest to the health education community, often at a critical point in the development of each year’s federal budget.

Summit sponsors include:

· The School Health Education and Services (SHES) and Public Health Education and Health Promotion (PHEHP) sections of the American Public Health Association.

· American Association for Health Education (AAHE).

· American College Health Association (ACHA).

· American School Health Association (ASHA).

· Directors of Health Promotion and Education (DHPE).

· Coalition of National Health Education Organizations (CNHEO).

· Eta Sigma Gamma.

· National Center for Health Education (NCHE).

· Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE).

· Society of State Directors of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (“The Society”).

This is an excellent educational activity for students in public health programs. For more information visit <>.


ASHA Deadline Approaching

American School Health Association-Call for Abstracts


The 80th Annual Conference of the American School Health Association will be held in St. Louis, Oct. 11-14, 2006.  The 2006 conference theme is Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds: The Mental Health Connection. Preference will be given to proposals that address identifying the causes of mental health problems among children and youth, emerging prevention or intervention strategies, the interactions between mental health and other educational and health outcomes, and/or practical approaches to school-based prevention or intervention.

The application deadline was Feb.10, 2006. Direct questions to: Mary Bamer Ramsier,

Reviewers Needed

Attention all SHES members!

Please volunteer to review a few abstracts for the APHA Annual Meeting Nov. 4-8, 2006, in Boston. In order to provide another great program, we need people to review approximately 12 abstracts. Our SHES Section is very popular in that we have a disproportionate number of submissions compared to the size of our Section! To ensure we are choosing the most appropriate abstracts, we need at least three people to review each submission. It’s quick and easy to do! The process only requires reading the abstract, scoring it according to clear criteria and making brief comments if you wish. All work is done online.

By reviewing some abstracts you can provide an important service and become more involved in the SHES Section, gain confidence in submitting your own abstracts and see what other health professionals are working on around the country.

Please contact Terry Wessel, SHES Program CHAIR, at, if you want to be included as a reviewer or have any questions.

Good News

Congratulations to Carl Hanson, former SHES secretary, for his recent appointment to Brigham Young University. Carl is an associate professor of public health education in the Department of Health Sciences at BYU.  Way to go, Carl!