Coming to the table with potential partners and listening first, then responding with solutions, is a practice familiar to the faculty and students at the University of Mississippi School of Nursing.
That engagement technique is a testament to why the school was recognized at the 2017 Governor's Award luncheon held Wednesday, March 1, during the Mississippi Education Partnership Conference held in Jackson. The nursing school received the District & Community Governor's Award for work done in collaboration with Jackson Public Schools in school-based health and wellness clinics.
A total of 18 awards were presented to school-community partnerships in Mississippi's K-12 public schools. Phil Hardwick, president of the Mississippi Association of Partners in Education, also known as MAPE, said in a news release that the awards program “is an opportunity to recognize outstanding partnerships and celebrate the positive impact they're making in public schools across Mississippi.”
The selection committee for the awards is made up of “representatives from business, industry, nonprofits and education,” according to the release from MAPE.
SON faculty and students host a health fair at Murrah High School.
“The way we engage with our partners in the community, I think, is what really separates the School of Nursing from other partners,” said Dr. Janet Harris, professor of nursing and associate dean for practice and community engagement.
The school uses what they call an “authentic partnership model.”
“We find out what their needs are then look at what resources we have available that we could potentially bring to the table to help them in their area of particular need,” Harris said.
When the Lanier Alumni Association was concerned about the prevalence of concussions on the high school football team and hearing loss in the band, Dr. Kate Fouquier, associate professor of nursing and director of the Lanier High School Teen Wellness Clinic, organized screenings with UMMC physicians and audiologists.
“They had had a number who had gotten pretty banged up in football, for example, and they were very interested in getting some kind of baseline data and screening for those kids,” Harris said. She said that four players were identified with repeated head injuries.
“The coaches, because of their increased awareness, are much more careful to pull the players out of football games when those injuries happen,” she said.
Fouquier also worked with the high school's band director, Michael Wynn II, and Dr. Mary Frances Johnson, assistant professor of otolaryngology and communicative sciences at the School of Medicine, to provide band members with ear plugs to reduce damage to the ears. Of the 30 band members screened, two were identified with hearing loss, one of whom required hearing aids.
After an educational survey revealed the Midtown Public Charter School was lacking in medical protocols, leaders at the school reached out to the School of Nursing for assistance.
Harris and Dr. Josie Bidwell, assistant professor of nursing and director of clinical services for the UNACARE Family Health Clinic, met with the principal and chief operating officer of the charter school to devise a plan.
“We listened to their needs and responded to them within a week,” Harris said. “We provided guidelines, policies and procedures and then completed the training for the teachers so that they were able to meet the requirements that had been put before them.”
The faculty of the charter school were trained in safe medication storage, how to recognize asthma attacks and the triggers that cause them, seizure precautions, recognizing and treating diabetic hypoglycemia, and recognizing common allergies and signs of allergic reaction, just to name a few.
SON faculty, from left, Fouquier, Bidwell, Harris and Norwood, receive the Governor's Award.
Harris said that in a similar instance, the Jackson Public Schools Health Care Academies were looking for a way to provide students with a certificate to make them more marketable upon graduation and to build their self-esteem within their communities.
Bidwell and Harris met with Marquita Levine, director of academies, to discuss how the existing Community Health Advocate program could assist the Health Care Academies in meeting their goals.
“They were very excited about the 'train the trainer' concept,” Harris said. “Dr. Bidwell and her team trained health and science teachers so that they could train the students in the Community Health Advocacy role.”
Health, science and math teachers from Murrah, Jim Hill, Forest Hill and Wingfield high schools attended an eight-hour train-the-trainer event. Each teacher was then paired with a CHA Master Trainer to help design and implement CHA training within their own school.
The nursing school has been providing care to students at Johnson, Brown and Rowan elementary schools since the first school clinics opened - Johnson in 1999, Brown and Rowan in 2008. But when Dr. Anne Norwood, professor of nursing and director of school-based clinics, heard that children were arriving to school on Monday mornings with tummy aches because they had not eaten all weekend, a plan was made to remedy the situation.
With the help of the Junior League of Jackson and the Mississippi Food Network, the nursing school organized a food pantry drive to provide food to needy families. Backpacks were donated by the Junior League to be filled with food and sent home with certain students over the weekend.
Bidwell offers a nutritious shake sample to an elementary school student at a Food Pantry Drive.
According to the award entry narrative, more than 30 nursing students volunteered to provide health screenings to the students in the elementary schools. UMMC students from both nursing, medicine and the pediatric resident program participated in screenings, education and demonstrations that included depression screenings, handwashing demonstrations and everything from gun and swimming safety to stranger danger and seat belt use. The Food Pantry Drive reached 140 participants and there is now a food pantry open one night a month at Brown elementary for families with children in Brown, Rowan or Johnson elementary schools.
The Governor's Award selection committee judged entries using criteria to determine overall effectiveness of partnership activities. It's not difficult to see why the partnership between the School of Nursing and Jackson Public Schools won, but they are not ones to boast.
“It really doesn't matter who gets credit for the work that you do because, in any partnership, everyone is all in,” Harris said. “We're engaged together as true partners and work together in bringing resources to the table. That is really what we have been able to do with the Jackson Public School System.”
However, the audience at the Governor's Award luncheon thought more credit was deserved. They voted the School of Nursing and JPS partnership as the winner of the 2017 People's Choice Award.
Medical Center receives additional partnership awards
Tammy Dempsey, center, Office for Community Engagement and Service Learning director, and Dr. Janet Harris, professor of nursing and associate dean for practice and community engagement, receive the Steven James Allstate Award on behalf of UMMC from James, an Allstate agent.
UMMC was chosen as the recipient of the Steven James Agency Allstate Award at the district-wide recognition breakfast Thursday, Feb. 23, with Jackson Public Schools Partners in Education. One outstanding partner is recognized annually, and UMMC was given the honor this year. The award represents the commitment and service of students in each of UMMC's seven schools as well as faculty and staff who volunteer with the multiple projects and programs on-going with JPS.
UMMC also received a Partnership of Excellence Award at the MAPE Governor's Awards on Wednesday, March 1. The partnership and award represents the participation of all UMMC schools as well as the Department of Academic Affairs for their support of continuing teacher education. Also recognized are UMMC employees who volunteer in multiple capacities but have the strongest presence in the new TutorMate program. TutorMate was the first campus wide service opportunity promoted by the Office of Community Engagement and Service Learning.
Following is a list of current activities between JPS and UMMC: SON and JPS Health Academies CHA Training, Flu Supply Drive, TutorMate Program, Backpack Awareness, Tar Wars, Project Reach, Give Kids A Smile, UMMC Sports Medicine, SON Handwashing, STEMI Program, Alignment Jackson Career Fair and UMMC Campus Tours for High School Students.
Representatives from six UMMC schools accept the Partnership Excellence Award from Jackson Public Schools officials. Participants in the ceremony include, from left, Dr. Steve Watson, representing the School of Health Related Professions; Dr. Sydney Murphy, representing the School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences; Dr. Janet Harris, representing the School of Nursing; Dr. Michelle King, representing Jackson Public Schools Elementary; Dr. Claude Brunson, representing the School of Medicine; Tammy Dempsey, representing UMMC Academic Affairs; Dr. Kim Hoover, representing the School of Nursing; Phil Hardwick, representing the Mississippi Association of Partners in Education; Dr. Leigh Ann Ross, representing the School of Pharmacy; Thea Faulkner, representing Jackson Public Schools Partners in Education; Dr. Ralph Didlake, representing the School of Medicine; Dr. William Duncon, representing the School of Dentistry; Dr. David Norris, representing the School of Medicine; and Dr. Rob Rockhold, representing UMMC Academic Affairs.