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Celebrate School Nurses

Over the years, Phoebe has demonstrated its commitment to improving the health of our community, and an important part of that commitment is working with the youth in our schools.

When I began working at Phoebe’s Network of Trust 25 years ago, it was a program for teen parents in response to the high nationwide teen pregnancy rate. Over time Network of Trust has evolved and expanded. We not only have programs on teen parenting, but we have a comprehensive school health program that includes school nurses.

Network of Trust provides nurses to the Dougherty County School System at no expense to taxpayers. We have nine nurses who serve all students, faculty and staff – treating illnesses, administering medication and teaching healthy eating habits. But our nurses do so much more.

We teach teen parenting classes in Dougherty, Lee, Terrell, Worth and Calhoun Counties to help keep those young parents and their babies healthy. Our Making a Difference curriculum teaches 6th graders about sexual development, sexually transmitted diseases and abstinence. We are seeing a difference, as our work has helped decreased the Dougherty County teen pregnancy rate drastically in recent years.

Project S.A.V.E.  (Sudden Cardiac Death: Awareness, Vision for Prevention, Education) is another program we are very proud of. Network of Trust nurses provide CPR/AED training to coaches, faculty and staff as well as to community partners such as the Lee County Home School Association and Family Literacy Connection. 

In 2018, we began working in conjunction with the Georgia Department of Public Health District and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to help DCSS obtain status as an Asthma Friendly School System, and eventually, we hope for Dougherty County to become an Asthma Friendly Community.

Additionally, throughout the year, our Network of Trust nurses hold wellness programs in public and private schools in Dougherty and Lee Counties, help grow school gardens and work with Albany State University on community HIV and STD prevention. 

All of these programs show our continued commitment to educating our youth and community on important healthcare issues. Last fall, Network of Trust was honored by Big Voices for Children, a benefit that honors and celebrates the impact of those who work to advance the well-being of children. This recognition meant a lot to each of us at Network of Trust, as it represents the amazing work our school nurses do every day in and out of the school setting.

So please take a moment to thank a school nurse and applaud them for the contributions they make every day to improve the safety, health and academic success of all students.