One of the main reasons RMH got a leadership award today was because of the School Nurse Assistance Program. TV-3 found out why it's so important to the children in Rockingham County.
The School Nurse Assistance Program, or SNAP, was started in 1999. Rockingham County got a grant of $250,000 from the state with help from the health department, RMH, and Merck. It was intended to place a nurse in each one of the county schools. Up until that point, there were only three nurses to cover 20 schools.
"As a whole, the grant has been very rewarding for the schools and the county in general because it has incorporated so much more medical care and follow-up of the children in a school setting," said Mary Glover, a supervisory school nurse.
"Quite frankly it's improved health care for all kids, and these people also work with families," said Rockingham County Schools Superintendent John Kidd. "It's just a real plus for us."
Wanda Wampler is one of 12 nurses that have been placed in Rockingham schools. While she takes care of the children who come to see her, she has other responsibilities.
"Teachers on staff sometimes come to me for blood pressure checks, different things like that," said Wampler. "They come to me for a lot of health questions."
Glover says secretaries still pass out medication in some schools without a full-time nurse. But the county and snap are working on getting those vacancies filled. They hope to fill them by 2005.
The original grant money for the project has just about run out. But the county school board has promised to take up the slack by continuing to pay existing nurses and working to hire the rest.