Grants Help Care for School Kids

School Nurse Program Receives $31,100 

In May, three different organizations stepped forward with grants to support school children in our community.

The first is a $30,000 grant from the Reed and Carolee Walker Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation. The Asante Ashland Community Hospital School Nurse Program wouldn’t be where it is today without the generosity of the Walker Fund. Since 2005, they have contributed $535,000 to ensure K-8 students in the Ashland and Talent/Phoenix School Districts have access to a registered nurse. 

Registered nurses provide daily health care services to approximately 20 students per day, and more than 2,900 students per year. The nurses see children for health screenings and make educational presentations. They also provide case management for students with complex health needs such as asthma, diabetes, allergies, and behavioral health issues.

The second grant comes from the Ashland Food Co-Op in support of the Healthy Foods – an Alternative to Medication initiative. The initiative gives healthy snacks to children who visit the nurse with a stomach ache or head ache and are seeking medication to alleviate their symptoms. The nursing staff understand these symptoms are caused by hunger and take the time to talk with children about how food can impact how they feel physically. 

The $500 grant marks the sixth year in a row the Ashland Food Co-op has been a partner of the Healthy Foods initiative and the donation will allow nurses to purchase healthy snacks for school children. 

A final grant comes from Soroptimist International of Ashland, a service club whose primary mission is to support women and girls locally and globally. The club awarded $600 to support the SOS Suicide Prevention Curriculum, which is taught by nurses. The curriculum is a school-based depression awareness and suicide prevention program designed for students. In the last year nurses have taught this curriculum to almost 500 students. 

Belinda Brown, RN has been overseeing the school nurse program since it began and understands school nurses provide more than just health care. “The needs of the children often go beyond the physical,” Belinda explains. “Our nurses treat the whole child, developing trusting relationships with the family as well. This level of compassionate care helps kids get their needs met so they can thrive at school and at home”.Asante Ashland Community Hospital and the Ashland Community Hospital Foundation are grateful for the commitment from these three generous organizations. Watch our short video on the School Nurse Program.

Check out the story about the School Nurse Program in the Ashland Tidings.