Community Benefit

The ABCs Of Asante's School Nurse Program

The Asante School Nurse Program includes three nurses, who work with students in kindergarten through eighth grade in the
Ashland and Phoenix-Talent school districts.

Primary funding for the Asante School Nurse Program is provided by Asante, with additional support from school districts and a grant from the Oregon Community Foundation Walker Fund.

“This is a great resource that Asante provides,” said Steve Retzlaff, principal of Ashland Middle School. School nurses provide case management for kids with chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and asthma; they also triage concussions, fractures, headaches and allergic reactions.

No two days are the same,” said Belinda Brown, RN, Asante School Nurse Program coordinator.

Also provided are health screenings for hearing, vision, dental, and height and weight, to help promote overall wellness. Mental health counseling and a suicide prevention program are also available.

“One of the unique opportunities we have is to develop long-term trusting relationships with kids and their families,” said Brown.

Principal Retzlaff has known Brown since she began serving Ashland Middle School. “She goes way beyond the Band-Aids and ice packs; she’s like a social worker,” he said.

“Belinda is great at finding out what support the students need outside of school and connects them to those resources. And not just for the student but for the family too.”

With nearly 2,800 students in the district, Brown said some require individualized care plans for chronic conditions such as allergies and seizures.

“We work with doctors and parents to develop health plans as well as train teachers and office staff about what a child needs to be safe at school.”