04 Sep A note from the CEO: Identifying students with health needs
The ratio goal for school nurses to students is 1 to 750. In Wake County, we are well short of that with a current ratio of 1 nurse for every 2,400 kids. These nurses are tasked with the significant responsibility of identifying and developing care plans for every student with an identified issue within the first 30 days of school. In that same 30 days, faculty and staff must be trained as well. These tasks consume the first month of the year. The remainder of the year is spent managing these students, constantly evaluating their plans, and identifying new students. Oh, and did I mention these nurses make house calls too?
Over the next three years, the Wake County Human Services Board of Commissioners has committed to employ 40 new nurses at Wake County Schools. These new nurses, along with the current staff, will be deployed across Wake County with a focus on the schools with the highest need (identified health issues). This is called an acuity model, and it is a great start, but there is a problem.
Need is defined by “identified health issues”. Did you know that in some parts of Wake County the uninsured rate is between 40-60%? Kids without insurance don’t usually have a primary care physician. Kids without primary care physicians tend to have their health needs go unidentified. In short, the schools with the lowest statistical need are often the schools that need the most help.
Lucky for us, Wake County School Based Public Health Nursing (hereafter referred to as School Nurses) realizes this, and their goal is to identify 1,500 students this year with existing but unidentified issues, and ensure they receive treatment. They will focus first on the health issues of asthma and pre-diabetes.
That is where we come in. Magnus Health is raising money to help the School Nurses identify these students and help them to find their health home (physician), document and treat their health issues, and deliver their diagnosis back to the school. Once that loop is complete, the nurses can create an individualized learning plan for those students to keep them healthy and attentive during the school day.
It is the goal of Wake County to be the healthiest county in America. It is the goal of Wake County School Nurses to ensure students receive the care needed to keep them in class and ready to learn. It’s our goal to help make both of those goals realities.
I’m so passionate about it, I let my employees peg me with dodgeballs – a fact that will make more sense after you watch the video below. It’s all in good fun to support our 2nd Annual Raleigh International Dodgeball Charity Challenge on September 27th. This event is our biggest fundraising effort, and proceeds from the event go toward helping School Nurses identify those students. I encourage you to check out our website, support the cause, and join us at the event!