“It really speaks to the good work we have been doing in Bradley County with Coordinated School Health. It is a passion for me,” McDaniel said.
The award is presented to a director “that has shown exemplary leadership in cultivating school environments that make the connection between health and learning,” according to ASHA information.
McDaniel will officially accept the award at the ASHA annual conference in October.
Recent health-focused programs were outlined in McDaniel’s application for the award.
“This award is about support and it takes administrative support to make Coordinated School Health work,” said Coordinated School Health director Andrea Lockerby.
In Bradley County Schools, Lockerby and supervisor of nutrition supervisor Emily Brown have worked together to emphasize healthy choices to students, McDaniel said.
“I believe in the brain research that indicates when you move, when you exercise, it enhances learning,” McDaniel said. “Oxygen is food for the brain.”
Movement has been incorporated into lessons across the system.
Lockerby said action-based learning professional development has been offered to teachers across the system.
“The brain is only as healthy as the body that carries it,” Lockerby said.
The medical care mobile that visits schools was highlighted in the application.
“The idea is if we can keep students in school, if parents can access health care easily, their attendance is going to improve and ... learning is going to improve,” McDaniel said.
Policy changes to encourage healthy activity, grants that have been received and community partnerships to promote student health were outlined in the application.
Most recently BCS has partnered with Cleveland City Schools in a grant application to receive funding for telemedical services. Lockerby said this is the system’s second attempt at receiving grant funding for the venture. Telemedical uses videoconferencing technology to provide access to doctors.
“It decreases the barrier to get to health care,” Lockerby said
If the grant application is successful, school nurses would be able to be able to talk to a doctor at a partner hospital.
“We are not afraid to venture out and find partners to meet the needs of our kids,” McDaniel said.
Lockerby said there are some school systems already using the technology.