Pondera Medical Center and Conrad Public Schools are pleased to announce the addition of a half-time school nurse for the Conrad School District. “It was something that has been long in the planning and COVID-19 has accentuated the need to immediately fill this role in our schools” stated Sean Beddow, District Superintendent. The job description of the school nurse will include contact tracing during the pandemic but has other duties as well, which will include oversight of medication administration procedures, coordination for vaccinations, input for students who have medical issues, and some health education duties.
Bill O’Leary, CEO for the hospital stated, “We want to be proactively involved with the solutions for this community and this aligns with our emphasis on outreach.” In a recent community health assessment which is performed every 3 years by the hospital, an importance on community involvement could be seen throughout the strategies. The 6-month contract for the half-time school nurse is now held by Pondera Medical Center who will provide an LPN at 20 hrs/week for the position. O’Leary went on to state, “We win through positive impact and better health for students, the school wins because the nurse position will have the backing of Pondera Medical Center’s expertise.”
For this task, the Medical Center feels they have an ideal candidate. Nichole Sullivan, LPN has an extensive background in public health, contact tracing and has successfully worked with the school on multiple projects. Sullivan is excited about her newest venture. “School Nurse is a project I have worked on for some time. It can be an important link for students to better health. As a mother of three Conrad students, and a member of this community, I believe in the importance of this role and am grateful for the opportunity to see it through.” Sullivan’s office will be primarily located at the Meadowlark Elementary School from 8-12 Monday-Friday. Sullivan will spend her afternoons at the PMC Rural Health Clinic as part of the nursing team.
Cynthia Grubb, who will oversee the project for PMC, offered, “It’s an idea whose time has come. Working together toward common goals is obvious for a small community and we are happy to shift the paradigm to an emphasis on teamwork.”