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Packard Children's Hospital, Foundation Provide Financial Support for School Nurses in San Jose
Date:11/5/2007

g a health center at every school can initially seem prohibitive, said David Alexander, MD, president and CEO of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health.

"With this project, we hope to demonstrate that a network of school nurses who are formally linked to a clinic serving multiple schools is a cost-effective model for getting children the care they need to succeed in school," Alexander said.

Almost 5,000 students in the San Jose Unified District -- 18 percent -- are diagnosed with chronic health problems. Nurses typically are responsible for three or four schools, and the increasing caseloads of chronic medical problems have reduced time for routine health screenings and health education.

Children with chronic conditions are absent more frequently, which not only creates additional learning challenges for the student but also reduces state reimbursement to schools, which is based on average daily attendance.

The project, which the hospital and the foundation will fund equally, will maintain the nurses for five years in four schools: Hoover and Burnett Academy middle schools, and Empire Gardens and Anne Darling elementary schools. All currently are covered by part-time nurses. The schools were chosen because they have a high percentage of students living in poverty; substantial enrollments of children who do not have access to regular health care; and proximity to the School Health Clinics at San Jose High Academy and Washington Elementary School. The clinics can provide services from physicians, physician assistants, nurses, a dietitian, and a health educator.

Researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine will evaluate the project, analyzing measures such as access to ongoing health services, management of chronic problems and school attendance.

"As the children's hospital for Santa Clara County, we currently see many children from San Jose," said Christopher Dawes, president and CEO at Packard Children's
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SOURCE Lucile Packard Children's Hospital
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