SCHNECKSVILLE, Pa. | Hundreds of school nurses from across Pennsylvania are gathering this week at Lehigh Career & Technical Institute for an annual conference.
Voices of School Health VI is scheduled 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. both Monday, Aug. 11, and Tuesday, Aug. 12. Workshops are planned 8:15-11:45 a.m. and 12:30-3:30 p.m. Tuesday then 8-11:30 a.m. and 12:15-3:15 p.m. Wednesday.
This marks the sixth year that the Lehigh County School Nurses Advisory Board has put on Voices of School Health at LCTI. Organizer Donna Tercha said 236 school nurses — about 70 more than last year — registered for the event.
It’s the first time the conference has drawn more than 200 participants. “They keep coming back,” she said. “It’s been very successful.”
Most attendees hail from Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Delaware, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton and other eastern Pennsylvania counties, but some are coming in from central Pennsylvania, Tercha said. “We’re drawing people from the Camp Hill and Shenandoah Valley school districts,” she said.
Tercha, who serves as a Catasauqua Area School District nurse, attributes the conference’s growing popularity to three things: relevant workshop topics paired with knowledgeable presenters, a scarcity of comparable events in the commonwealth and reasonable registration rates.
This year’s workshop topics include suicide prevention, heroin abuse prevention, concussion management and EpiPen training. Slated to speak are Chris Ferry and Jason Savenelli, of KidsPeace, Lisa Fiore and Lisa Wolff, of Center for Humanistic Change, James Reidy, of Northampton Community College, and Beth Anne Bahn, of the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
The epinephrine auto-injector training and certification, to be led by Bahn, is especially popular this year because of a new law governing the storage and use of EpiPens in Keystone State schools, Tercha said.
“She’s very well respected in our field,” Tercha said of Bahn. “She tells us all of the things that are new for school nursing this year; everything we need to know. She’s a big draw for us.”
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