- View Statement presented By Neil, Lisa and Harris Wallack
- View Testiimoney to the Value of School Nursing by the Parent of Child with Asthma
On April 28th, more than one hundred school nurses, parents, teachers and advocates for improved school health services rallied at the State House for School Health Advovacy Day, an event to draw legislators attention to the issue of school health, the value of school nurses, and the need for adequate funding to ensure that Massachusetts school children have access to adequate school health services.
At the event, MNA President Karen Higgins was among those who spoke, calling upon the legislature to maintain funding for school health services and to reverse efforts by the Romney administration to gut school health funding, which has already resulted in the layoff of 500 school nurses across the Commonwealth. "School nurses are vital to the health and safety of our school children, and to ensuring that children are ready to learn," Higgins said. "School nurses also play a vital role in protecting our communities and our children in the event of public health emergencies, such as SARS and bioterrorism."
A number of legislators, including State Senator Richard Moore, Chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care, and a long time advocate for school health services, spoke to the audience and expressed their commitment to support funding for school health services.
Parents of children whose lives have been improved by access to sound school health services and school nurses spoke in support of school health funding, including Catherine Martin, who has a child with multiple special health needs that require the careful monitoring and attention of a school nurse. Neil and Lisa Harris of Newton, along with their seven year old son Harris, were on hand, and presented a read a letter Harris had written about living with juvenile diabetes and how much he depends on school nursing services to deal with his illness. Links to their testimony can be found on this page.