sport_coach_yelling_smallerI planned to write about coach bullying over a month ago. The fact that just yesterday a prominent NCAA women's basketball coach was accused by former players of bullying and emotional abuse, is nothing more than a timely coincidence. Accusations against Boston University's Kelly Greenberg arose after four players quit over the course of the last year - that's 30% of the team. Two of those players gave up $60,000-a-year scholarships. I'll let you interpret the severity of the situation based off of those numbers.

But this isn't about Greenberg or Boston University, or even last year's headlining bully coach, Mike Rice at Rutgers. This is about the fact that coach bullying isn't specific to collegiate or professional athletics - it's present in youth, club, middle, and high school athletics too. Although there isn't a lot of research on the subject, according to one study, "45% of the children surveyed said adults had called them names, yelled at them, and insulted them while they played sports. Even more disturbing, more than 17% reported that an adult had hit, kicked, and slapped them while participating in sports."

When you work for a company called Magnus Health, you tend to feel obligated to crank out a blog post each March in celebration of National Nutrition Month. I did it last year, I'm doing it this year, and if history tells us anything, I'll do it again in 2015. The good news is, a reminder blog once a year about the importance of nutrition will never be overkill. The better news is, I may have a surprise at the end of this blog.heart_veggies

National Nutrition Month is sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and "is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits." These are solid goals for everyone, especially children and teens. This year's theme is "Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right" because research found taste to be more influential in food purchasing behavior than nutritional value. Those foods people enjoy are more likely to be consumed, regardless of social, emotional, or health factors, so this year's theme is right on point.

What if I told you re-enrollment could be easier? What if I said you don't have to be buried by paperwork this year? That's exactly what these six myth-busting tips are designed to do: make your life less complicated, and shrink the ever-growing pile of forms sitting on your desk. When you discover the truth behind these myths, you'll not only be amazed, but you'll also breathe a long sigh of relief.

Food allergies on the riseTake a quick look down the aisle of any grocery store and you're sure to see gluten-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, and soy-free snacks from left to right. Open up a restaurant menu and many of the same allergy-free options are offered. Maybe you've even had a conversation with a neighbor who just adopted a gluten-free diet. With all of this increased allergy awareness, are we facing an allergy epidemic? Is the age of food allergies truly upon us?

Amy Van Dyken, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Peter Vanderkaay all have something in common, and it’s not just their glistening Olympic gold medals. While they will forever be remembered on the world stage for their athletic feats and dedication, there’s one thing that nearly held them all back from greatness, and that's asthma. These athletes (and hundreds of others) are a testament to how asthma can affect an athlete, but not bring them down.

What do I need to do to prepare? Who should be involved in the implementation? What will my parents see? What’s my job in the process? What’s Magnus’ job? How long will it take? When should I implement? How do I roll this out to parents? 

Don’t worry. We know you have a lot of questions, and we’re here to answer each and every one. 

boy-kid-anxiety-biting-nails-worry-shutterstock_157209992_smaller_croppedWhat’s every kid’s least favorite part of getting ready for bed? No, it’s not checking for monsters in the closet, and it’s not turning off their favorite television show (although that can be a difficult battle, too). Hands down, every child’s least favorite part of the evening routine is brushing their teeth. Why? It’s actually a simple answer.

Why make things more difficult than necessary? There’s no point in that, and it only wastes time and money, both of which I value quite a bit. That’s why I mandated the development of one of our most efficent student health form capabilities yet. Actually, that part is a lie – I didn’t mandate anything. Yet.

But, the rest of that is real, and it’s going to make the lives of school nurses and health staff much more pleasant. So, without even further ado, let’s get to the good stuff…ESD

Electronically Signed Documents. I don’t mean digital authorization. This isn’t hypothetical. It isn’t a dream. This is real.

Literally, a student's form never has to be printed in order to be signed. Schools can elect to use Electronically Signed Documents, and transition many of their forms – consent to treat, field trip permission slips, OTC medications, and more – thereby eliminating the need for parents to ever print a form. The school can determine exactly what the form says, and the parent/guardian needs merely to type their name in the document and submit it (after reading it thoroughly of course).

We spend a large chunk of time doing research here at Magnus, and as a result, we’ve come across resources that are particularly informative. We thought they might be useful to you as well, so we’re going to pass them along. If we’ve left any of your favorites off the list, please share the wealth by leaving us a note in the comment section.


  1. The Office of Non-public education (federal)
  2. U.S. Department of Education
  3. Joint Guidance on the Application of FERPA & HIPAA to Student Health Records
  4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  6. U.S. Food and Drug Administration

goalsFrom tips to help students stop procrastinating, to advice on how to host a healthy classroom celebration, we’ve explored how schools and students can put their best feet forward this year, all while under the helpful watch of the school nurse. Now, the last puzzle piece to our Health Tool Kits is for the parents, whose duties leave them exhausted at the end of nearly every day. It's time to turn the tables and take care of the people who take care of everyone else.

We’ve covered how teachers and school nurses can implement easy tricks to stay healthy and earn an A+ on their school’s health report card. Now, it’s time to focus on the very students we’re all looking out for - the students who say they are invincible to illness, can run a marathon off of 3 hours of sleep and a bag of potato chips, and won’t start an elaborate science fair project until the day before it’s due. I’ve been there, you’ve been there, and now it’s time for an intervention (without the reality tv show contract).

In 2011 Adrian Peterson, a rather well-known Pro-Bowler and Minnesota Vikings running back, ate a couple bowls of gumbo and 15 minutes later, his eyes began to itch, his throat began to close, and he could barely breathe. He was experiencing anaphylactic shock. Thankfully, the team trainer quickly arrived and injected Peterson with an EpiPen. After being rushed to the hospital, it was determined that Peterson has a shellfish allergy.   

Healthy studentWe’re back again! Recently I told you about 5 Health tools for school nurses, but nurses aren’t the only ones who care about health, and they’re certainly not the only ones who can positively influence student wellness. So for this round of our Health Tool Kits, we’re going to talk about how a healthy school year can also begin in the classroom.

School nurses use technology to improve efficiency and knowledgeI promised another blog post, and I don’t like to break promises. Welcome to the first Health Tool Kit, brought to you from your friends (and partners in health) at Magnus! We’re going to start off with nurses, because they’re the bread to our butter, the peanut butter to our jelly, and the orange to our office walls. I'm serious, we love orange.

The “10,000 hour rule” is a rule proposed by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers. It suggests that it takes roughly 10,000 hours of dedicated practice to truly master a skill such as playing the piano, chess or playing a sport, such as swimming. Today, adolescent athletes are working longer and harder than ever before to get the competitive edge. But it is not always fun and games when training an elite athlete. At some point, most elite athletes struggle with a setback, whether it be a physical injury or a mental roadblock. Coaches must make sure certain actions are taken before these roadblocks can occur. Swimmer1_smaller

Coaches need to be conscious of the physical stress their athletes may experience. They must always educate the athletes on proper technique and the importance of alerting a coach when something doesn’t feel right. I have coached athletes that push through the pain and brush it off, not alerting the coaches to the issue. They are afraid, perhaps, of taking time off or having to tone down their training. On the other hand, I have coached athletes who alert their coach when they experience aches and pains. Coaches need to educate and remind their athletes to have a free flowing stream of communication in regards to any aches or pains that occur. If this does not happen, the swimmer can hit rock bottom and will be unable to train on a daily basis. The physical damage may have already been done to a point of no repair. Physical injury can be preventable, but it also will be inevitable at some point. It is the coach’s responsibility to ensure that athletes know that it is okay to talk to their coach about how they feel.

Enjoy the holidays with active family timeLeading up to the holidays, it’s easy to find yourself getting more and more relaxed. Homework, work, extra responsibilities, and even self-care fall to the wayside, and all the eggnog, sugar cookies, and lack of sleep add up, making you feel sluggish and championed by the season. But as the weather gets colder and another year approaches, this is the time when it’s most important to look after your health. Why? Because setting the stage with healthy habits now, during the most demanding season, means next year is sure to be a success.

That’s why, starting in January, I’ll be writing a series of Health Tool Kits to help everyone –teachers, nurses, students, and parents – ease into a new year. These kits will have tips for living and feeling well, and developing a healthy school atmosphere. We’re not going to call them New Year’s resolutions, though, mostly because 88% of all New Year’s resolutions fail (let’s be honest, we’ve all been a part of that statistic), but also because we approach things a little differently here at Magnus. We believe improving is a part of every single day, and we want to share that philosophy. One of our conference rooms is even named “improve” – that’s how serious we are about it.

The American Journal of Public Health recently published the results of a collaborative study between the University of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Community Health. Under investigation was the responsiveness of parents having their child(ren) immunized for H1N1 when sent a reminder, verses without a reminder. Researchers targeted those parents of high risk children due to other chronic health conditions like asthma or diabetes.Communication

The college admission process can be one of the most stressful times a student ever encounters. It’s full of uncertainty with the student’s future education, career, and life depending on one fateful envelope in the mail.

Boarding schools teach students how to succeed in college through real-life experiences.Maybe that’s a little over-dramatic, or maybe it’s not. Either way, post-secondary education is a major concern and students will do nearly anything to make sure they are admitted to a top college or university. So what is the best way to be prepared for college admissions and to ensure a spot at the school of your choice? Larry Jacobs, the host of EduTalk Radio, speaks with Peter Upham, Executive Director of The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), in a two-part installment to learn more about how boarding schools developed into the legacy that they are today, and how they can give students the extra “umph” needed for college admissions and for a successful college career.

Questions are essential in life. Who, what, when, where, how, and why can lead to a new discovery, new information, or even a better quality of life. For us at Magnus, asking “why” is at the core our motives. Why do we do what we do? Because we believe in better care. We believe in keeping students safe and healthy.

Chas_ScarantinoLarry Jacobs from EduTalk Radio discusses Magnus Health, student healthcare, and how records stay safe and accessible with his guests, Dr. Adrianna Bravo, Medical Director at Episcopal High School (a Magnus client) in Alexandria, VA, and Chas Scarantino, CEO of Magnus Health.