On June 25, 2019, the Hawaii Keiki (HK): Healthy and Ready to Learn program traveled to Washington, D.C. for the annual School-Based Health Alliance Conference and participated in Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill. Margo Lalich, executive director; Courtney DeConto, Nanakuli-Waianae Complex Area APRN; Allison Hitchner, Honokaa-Kealakehe-Kohala-Konawaena Complex Area APRN; and Benjamin Kilinski, NAWSON-Hawaii Keiki Liaison represented the program.
Many sessions at the national School-Based Health Alliance conference focused on leveraging community assets to address social determinants of health, the impact of adverse childhood events on health and educational engagement, program evaluation, and access to care by expanding telehealth to underserved areas.
The HK team joined hundreds of school-based health center advocates who met with members of Congress to help advance a federal bill that will bring much-needed support to SBHCs across the country. The HK team was welcomed by the offices of Senator Mazie Hirono, Representative Ed Case, and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Topics of conversation included the importance of school-based health services, the connection between HK and educational outcomes, and encouraging nurses to practice in the school setting through access to loan forgiveness programs.
For more information about the Hawaii Keiki Program contact Margo Lalich, MPH, BA, RN, CDPM, executive director at (808) 956-2619 or firstname.lastname@example.org.