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Health service program facilitator represents Minnesota at the national level

Kathy Schulz(02/16/2024) Anoka-Hennepin health service program facilitator Kathy Schulz was elected by her peers as the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) Director for the School Nurse Organization of Minnesota (SNOM).

Schulz began working in Anoka-Hennepin as a school nurse in 2003 and was hired as an infection control nurse in the fall of 2020 before transitioning to her current role in 2022. 

As the NASN director, she serves as a liaison between the state and national organizations and shares the work of both groups. She represents the state of Minnesota at the national level. She joins NASN in Washington, D.C. to meet with other state directors from around the country to advocate and lobby for legislative priorities surrounding school nurses.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to serve in this role,” Schulz said. “Because that means that they have trust and faith in me that I will advocate for them and do my job. I’m coming back [to Anoka-Hennepin] with the best practices and if we can get our nurses to utilize their skills and best practices, we can make a huge difference in the lives of students.”

The model of health services in Anoka-Hennepin Schools uses a combination of school nurses (RN, public health nurses) and health paraeducators, some of whom are licensed practical nurses (RN, EMT or CMA). 

The primary goal of health services is to eliminate/minimize health barriers to learning and the health services staff strive to promote student and staff wellness, provide skilled nursing, protect the well-being of students, enhance healthy behaviors, encourage self-care, and assess and communicate student health concerns through referral to parents/guardians.

As the health service program facilitator, Schulz oversees policies and procedures, educates school nursing staff to ensure students are receiving quality care, and uses her 20-plus years of nursing experience to ensure students receive the resources necessary to be successful in the classroom.

“My job is to get kids in the classroom,” Schulz said. “You learn so much in those classrooms and it is so vital for our students to be present. I do this because I love it.”   

Anoka-Hennepin has 35 school nurses and 49 health paras across the district who strive to promote the health of students and a healthy school environment.