B. Establish standards for school health services, in collaboration with a wide range of MDPH programs and other state agencies. This includes the 1995 publication of the Comprehensive School Health Manual, which was revised in 2007. In addition, weekly email updates are prepared by the Director of School Health Services.
C. Provide ongoing continuing education for school health personnel through the Northeastern University (School Health Institute ), which the MDPH partially funds. Annual programs include clinical, prevention/mental health, management issues and a three-day summer institute for school nurses. The School Health Institute and MDPH staff also offer several school nurse orientation sessions each year.
D. Support the Massachusetts Department of Education School Nurse Certification Requirements, including a BSN/MSN on entry, successful completion of the literacy exam and attendance at the SHI MDPH school nurse orientation program, entitled Introduction to School Nursing in Massachusetts.
E. Manage the School-Based Medication Administration Program, consistent with the Regulations Governing the Administration of Prescription Medications in Public and Private Schools (105 CMR 210.000). Management and monitoring of this program entails registering school districts to permit school nurses to teach unlicensed personnel to administer prescription medications. Registrations include (a) full delegation: annual registration with a $300 fee; (b) field trip: 2 year registration; (c) epi-pen: 2 year registration. Certain standards must be met before the Department issues a registration. School districts and nonpublic schools interested in registering with the Department for this purpose should have their school nurse or school-nursing leader write to the School Health Unit, 250 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02108 for an application.
F. Oversee the mandated screening programs consistent with Massachusetts General Law. Under M.G.L.c.71 s.57, these include Body Mass Index (BMI),vision, hearing and postural screenings.
G. Collaborate with the Massachusetts Immunization and Epidemiology Programs to assure infection control in the schools. This includes ensuring that students are immunized according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health requirements, as well as managing communicable disease outbreaks in the schools.
H. Explore reimbursement systems for school health services. Collaborating with MassHealth and the University of Massachusetts Center for Health Care Finance, the School Health Unit assists in implementing the Administrative Activities Claiming Program through Municipal Medicaid in schools throughout the Commonwealth. This program provides federal reimbursement directly to cities and towns for indirect health care services provided in the school to children insured through MassHealth.
I. Provide ongoing policy development for school health service programs, in collaboration with categorical MDPH programs, the MDOE, DMA and other state agencies. Policies include clinical, management and program implementation.
J. Assist in developing and/or disseminating health promotion materials to public and nonpublic schools in the Commonwealth.
K. Manage and monitor the Essential School Health Service grants to public school districts. The Department currently funds public school districts to (a) strengthen the school health service infra-structure, (b) implement health education/tobacco control programs, (c) promote linkages with community providers and health insurance programs, and (d) implement school health data systems. In addition, these school districts are required to provide beginning health services to the nonpublic and charter schools within their communities.
L. Establish data systems as part of the Essential grants. The Department is establishing data systems to track services and case management activities in these programs.
M. Evaluate and monitor school health services. The School Health Unit staff, collaborating with the Office of Applied Statistics, Evaluation, and Technical Services (ASETS), currently evaluate and monitor the Essential School Health Service programs through data analysis, mandated reports and site visits. The goal is to move to outcome evaluations, documenting how school health services may result in the improved health or educational status of students.
This information is provided by the School Health Services within the Department of Public Health.