CHARLESTON, W.Va. _ A Clay County nurse has been named the 2007 West Virginia School Nurse of the Year.
Connie Harper, the only school nurse in Clay County, is responsible for the health of nearly 2,000 students in preschool through high school. She has addressed both acute and chronic health issues that affect students and also works with staff members to care for students with severe food and insect allergies, diabetes and seizures.
"Connie Harper has helped to build tremendous community support through her innovative health programs in Clay County," said state Superintendent Steve Paine. "She has made a lasting impression on her students that will help them live healthier lives.”
Nursing colleagues, school professionals and former students describe Harper as “highly respected for her leadership, coordination and health promotion.” She has been instrumental in the establishment school-based wellness centers in three Clay County schools.
She also initiated the Pathways to Wellness program and serves as program coordinator. In 2005, she was named Regional Worksite Coordinator of the Year.
Harper has served as a member and president of the Clay Health Department Board of Directors and has worked to establish a fitness center and afterschool program, Focus on Kids. She also has served on numerous state committees to advance school nursing, including the West Virginia School Nurse Council, and is a member of the West Virginia and National School Nursing Associations. She will be recognized at school nurses’ fall conference in November.