School Nurse Program Awarded Grant from Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation

On Tuesday, January 14, the Ashland Community Hospital Foundation was among 70 charities in Southwestern Oregon to receive a grant from the Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation. The grant for $7,500.00 supports the expansion of the School Nurse programof Asante Ashland Community Hospital into the Phoenix elementary and high schools, and the Ashland High School. 

The School Nurse program has been meeting the physical and mental health needs of elementary and middle school children in Ashland and Talent since 1997. Nurses are embedded in the schools and are often the first medical provider a student sees. They have immediate, barrier free access to students and families and provide a full complement of preventive and responsive health services inclusive of mental, dental, and physical health.

Belinda Brown, RN has been overseeing the program since it began. “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.” 

The program expanded its reach in the 2019-2020 academic year to all K-12 school children in Ashland, Talent, and Phoenix. The number of students served by this program has increased by 53%. 

School nurses now serve at all seven locations in Ashland and six locations in the Phoenix/Talent School District. Nurses have a scheduled rotation to all sites and hold daily drop-in hours at designated locations. Students can also schedule appointments. 

The program is funded through a partnership between the school districts and Asante Ashland Community Hospital, who employs the school nurses, and it would not be possible without individual and foundation grant support. The Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation will join other grant funders including the Reed and Carolee Walker Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, The Sharkey Foundation, Soroptimist International of Ashland, the Ashland Food Co-op and Shop’n Kart.