During the 2012-2013 school year, Dell Children’s Medical Center entered into its 17th year of providing school nurses and health assistants at Austin ISD schools. This innovative model uses a registered nurse and school health assistant who work together to provide health related services to 87,000 students attending 124 schools. School nurses and health assistants have immediate access and support from centrally based nurse managers, a nurse director, a physician medical director, and if needed, additional resources of a tertiary care pediatric medical center and the many clinical specialists who are affiliated with Dell Children’s Medical Center.

Key Accomplishments for 2012-2013 include:

  1. Partnered with Austin ISD and Lone Star Circle of Care to increase the number of Campus Based Counseling Referral Centers (CBCRC) at schools. This project is part of the 1115 Medicaid Delivery System Reform effort and aims to deliver school based behavioral health services including psychotherapy, psychiatric assessment, and other individual and group classroom based behavioral skills training and mental health awareness education sessions to children and adolescents in the school setting. As of Jan 2014, CBCRCs were located at Akins, Austin, Bedichek, Burnet, Crockett, Dobie, Reagan, and Travis.
  2. Increased collaboration with Seton Shoal Creek and Seton Mind Institute to:
    1. Increase number of education offerings to School Nurses and Health Assistants regarding behavioral health issues.
    2. Facilitated continuum of care for AISD students hospitalized at Seton Shoal Creek by obtaining discharge information to ensure students have safe return to school as well as establish safety plan for school setting.
    3. Provide additional support resources to students and AISD staff following critical situations including providing a list of community providers willing to see AISD students within 48 hours.
    4. Collaborate with Austin School District to develop a protocol for students who engage in non-suicidal self-injury such as cutting. School Nurse and counselors were educated on this protocol in Aug 2013.
  3. Ongoing partnership with Travis County Medical Society, Dell Children’s Medical Center, Austin ISD and other community partners to provide over 600 sports physicals to student who have been identified as having limited access to health care.
  4. Published 2 articles in “National Association of School Nurse (NASN)” journal. Teen Dating Violence focused on the role of the school nurse to identify and assist students facing teen dating violence. Unaccompanied Youth: School Nurses Caring for Adolescent Minors Living Without a Parent or Guardian, discussed how school nurses work with these youth to link them to services in the community and school setting.
  5. Updated “Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Plan” for Austin ISD to align with requirements of Senate Bill 27. Partnered with physicians and parents to create a poster that would increase recognition of symptoms associated with an anaphylactic reaction. A minimum of 3 posters are displayed throughout each school, including one in the health room.
  6. Dell Children’s Medical Center collaborated with Austin ISD to open a hospital based school staffed with 2 Austin ISD teachers. The Dell Children’s school will provide educational services to children with extended hospitalizations lasting more than 4 weeks.
  7. Provided the following educational offerings to School Nurses and Health Assistants:
    1. Child with Epilepsy: Medical and Psychosocial Issues by Dr. Dave Clarke, MD, Director of Comprehensive Epilepsy Program
    2. Cerebral Palsy Management by Dr. Maureen Nelson, MD, Medical Director Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
    3. Refugee Services of Austin by Peggy Robinson
    4. ASK about suicide training by Merily Keller, LCSW and Cindy Tucker. LCSW
    5. Relationships as a Health Issue by Start Strong by Barri Rosenbluth, LCSW
    6. The Facts about Tuberculosis by Austin Travis County Health and Human Services
    7. Sexually Transmitted Diseases by Austin Travis County Health and Human Services
    8. AISD Emergency Management Update by John Gaete
    9. Austin Child Guidance Center Overview by Shawna Crosby
    10. CommUnity Care Overview by Cathy Tomlinson, RN
    11. Diabetes Update by Cassie Giesberg, RN, CDE
  8. Sally Freeman was selected to participate in the School Health Fellowship program that was offered in conjunction with Rutgers, Johnson & Johnson, and National Association of School Nurses.
  9. Dell Children’s Medical Center continued its gift of providing web-based HealthTeacher curriculum to Austin School District for the third year.
  10. Fifteen AISD School Nurses maintained their certification as a Nationally Certified School Nurse.

Children’s/AISD Student Health Services aligns with the mission, vision, values and goals of AISD, and wants all students to be fit, healthy and ready to learn!

Student Health Services Summary

Children’s/AISD Student Health Services (SHS) is a collaboration that began in 1996. The Seton Healthcare Family contracts with the Austin Independent School District (AISD) for the provision of student health services. SHS staff, including Registered Nurses and School Health Assistants, Clinical Managers, and the Director and Medical Director, are employees of Seton Healthcare Family/Dell Children’s Medical Center. The Quality Improvement Consultant is contracted with Seton Healthcare Family. Each campus has a Registered Nurse who functions as the leader and coordinator of the student health services team. The District contact for SHS is the AISD Assistant Director of Comprehensive Health Services. The focus of services is on wellness/health promotion/prevention, and the elimination of non-educational barriers to learning.

Congruent with AISD’s promotion of national accreditation for teachers, RNs pursue national accreditation in nursing through the National Board for Certification of School Nurses.