Press Releases

Greenville, N.C. – May 11, 2021 – Maynard Children’s Hospital at Vidant Medical Center (VMC) and Pitt County Schools are proud to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the School Health Program, which provides registered nurses to Pitt County Schools to help more than 24,000 students meet their academic goals by ensuring they are healthy and ready to learn.

“May 12 is National School Nurse Day, so there is no better time to celebrate the incredible work that our school nurses do in Pitt County Schools,” said Catherine Nelson, senior administrator of community health at VMC, and a founding member of the School Health Program. “They have helped us safely mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while getting our students back in school for in-person learning, and continued to excel in their daily case management among students.”

Vidant launched the program in partnership with the ECU College of Nursing, Pitt County Public Health and Pitt County Schools in 1996. The program has grown from six registered nurses at 19 elementary schools to 21 nurses at 39 schools. The School Health Program was recognized by VMC in March 2021 for having the most certified nurses in an ambulatory care setting. School nurses complete daily tasks from overseeing the administration of medications to performing life-saving measures.

“At Pitt County Schools we value our partnership with Vidant and consider ourselves fortunate to have the terrific team of nurses to serve our students throughout these past 25 years,” said Karen Harrington, Director of Student Services. “The demands on school nurses continue to increase annually but never before have we been challenged to this level. This year, our nurses never stopped working – even when the rest of the system was in quarantine – and their efforts and time this year have not gone unnoticed. Not only have our nurses supported student health but they are a valuable resource to our staff. Please take time to thank a school nurse this week. And thank you to Vidant for your continued partnership.”