Special to the Journal
Keeping kids healthy is a vital component to insuring they are educated for a brighter future. In the Albany area, the Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital-sponsored “Network of Trust” and school nurse program is carrying out that mission.
Angie Barber, director of Network of Trust, spoke to the Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County on November 14 and detailed the various ways the mission is being accomplished. According to Barber, the top five reasons for visits to Phoebe Putney’s 27 school clinics in the region are illness visits, medication dispersal, injuries, adolescent health, and employee visits (primarily for information).
Among the programs included in the “Network” are the Clean Hands Campaign, which has seen the installation of 84 automatic sanitizer dispensers in 28 Dougherty County schools and conducted more than 3,000 “hand-washing classes” focusing on prevention of disease spread; Eighth Grade health fairs in Dougherty, Lee, and Worth counties and at Sherwood Christian and Deerfield-Windsor academies for disease prevention, health promotion, and early intervention; Project SAVE (Sudden cardiac death, Awareness, Vision for prevention, Education) for the prevention of sudden cardiac death; immunizations, including the H1N1 flu vaccine; Rachel’s Challenge, the anti-school violence program that is the legacy of Rachel Scott, the first victim of the 1999 Columbine massacre; and Health Teacher, which provides online education lessons and resources aligned to state and national standards for 8,500 schools across all 50 states.
“These are programs that belong to your community,” Barber emphasized.
Phoebe Putney, school systems in the region, and Health Teacher are collaborators in the “Network of Trust.” Health Teacher measures impact through teacher satisfaction, data utilization, observational data, and knowledge gains. According to Barber, the collaboration has also resulted in a measurable decrease in emergency room visits.
Another benefit of the network is “that it helps a child find a health-care home,” said Barber, specifically children who might otherwise have little or no access to health-care resources.
Network of Trust director Angie Barber briefs DoCo Kiwanians on how the network is fulfilling its mission through a partnership between Phoebe Putney Hospital, local school systems, and the online Health Teacher resource program.