(LOUISVILLE, Ky – March 7, 2018), Kentucky adults overwhelmingly favor a state law requiring schools to have a nurse in each school building, with 92 percent in support, according to the latest report from the Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP). Support was strong across political parties and economic levels.
Meanwhile, the CDC’s School Health Profiles estimated that 54 percent of secondary schools in Kentucky had a full-time registered nurse to provide health services to students, 45 percent had a part-time registered nurse, and 29 percent had a school-based health center.
KHIP is funded jointly by the Foundation for a Health Kentucky and Cincinnati-based Interact for Health.
“Children spend a considerable amount of time at school,” said Ben Chandler, President and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. “School nurses and resource staff are as likely to see evidence of health issues as parents in the home. Healthy students are more successful academically, and strong partnership between schools and families can help improve both student and health performance.”
The report released today also showed that more than six in ten Kentucky adults strongly favor schools taking a more active role in helping families get health care services for children. Support for schools’ role in health was significantly higher in 2017 than in 2009, the last time KHIP asked this question.
The Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) School Health Profiles reports that about half of Kentucky’s secondary education schools provided health care referrals to students with chronic conditions.
“School nurses play a vital role in keeping students healthy and ready to learn. They can treat children with minor health issues at school to prevent lost instructional time,” said Paula Little, assistant superintendent and supervisor of instruction for the Clinton County School District and Foundation board member. “They can also spot major health issues that might otherwise go undetected and have an overwhelmingly positive impact on a school’s learning environment.”
A copy of the report is available here.
About the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
Funded by an endowment, the mission of the nonpartisan Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is to address the unmet health needs of Kentuckians by developing and influencing policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity. Since the Foundation opened its doors in 2001, it has invested more than $27 million in health policy research, advocacy, and demonstration project grants across the Commonwealth. Follow the Foundation on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and visit our website at www.healthy-ky.org.
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Bonnie J. Hackbarth