Hawaii Public Schools: Improving Academic Success by Improving Health
The Hawaii Keiki: Healthy and Ready to Learn program hosted a two-day event featured Ms. Li Yan Wang, Health Economist from the Division of Adolescent and School Health with the Centers of Disease Control on September 28, 2015 at the Pacific Club and on September 29, 2015 at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Wang presented the results of her study that demonstrated the significant cost saving effects of school nursing. In attendance (photo below) were Kathryn Matayoshi, Superintendent of the Department of Education; Li Yan Wang, Health Economist from the Centers of Disease Control; Mary Boland, UH Manoa Nursing Dean; Rachel Wong, Director of the Department of Human Services; and Danette Tomiyasu, Deputy Director of the Department of Health as well as administrators, legislators, public health nurses, nursing faculty students.
Wang shared the results of her cost-benefit study of school nursing services in Massachusetts. The demand for school nursing services continues to increase significantly as a result of increased prevalence of chronic conditions in students, improved technology, and more working parents.
Growing research on school nursing services has found that school nurses have a positive impact on reducing early dismissals, improving student attendance, increasing teacher productivity, and reducing teacher time spent on addressing health issues.
The Hawaii Keiki: Healthy and Ready to Learn program is a partnership between UH Manoa Nursing and the Hawaii Department of Education and sits at the intersection of education and health to support the DOE in its effort to achieve student, school, and system success. The program’s goal is to keep our keiki healthy and ready to learn by providing access to school nursing services in Hawaii public schools. The results of Wang’s study shows services such as the Hawaii Keiki Program can improve access, the quality of health services, and increase cost benefit in the schools. For more information about the Hawaii Keiki program, visit this page.