By: Jazmyn McCloud, MPH, CHES
In Fall 2017, Douglas County School System held a parents meeting. During this time, a parent who has a child with severe allergies asked if the school had a supply of epinephrine. The answer was no at the time but it served as a catalyst to a system change characteristic of an asthma-friendly school district. With the full support of Superintendent North, Douglas County School System sought resources to stock epinephrine and albuterol. Health Services Coordinator, Nancy McCready RN, BSN, contacted Cobb & Douglas Public Health and the Georgia Department of Education for support. She was then recommended to the Georgia Asthma Coalition who provided the school with the necessary training to sustain school stocking and emergency administration of albuterol and helped the school system successfully apply for a free source of EpiPens through the EpiPens4Schools program. While this milestone marks a great step in Douglas County School System’s asthma-friendly efforts, the Health Services Coordinator continues to pursue ways to improve asthma management in all school-aged children.
Douglas County School System collaborated with Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) to successfully apply for recognition from the Georgia Department of Public Health Asthma Control Program in 2016. The recognition process included teaming up with administrators, school nurses, and staff to complete the Asthma-Friendly School Policy Checklist and Assessment. School systems or districts that have comprehensive procedures for medication, asthma education and surveillance, no bus idling, integrated pest management, and a 100 percent tobacco-free school policy are eligible to apply. With only three school systems in Georgia receiving Asthma-Friendly recognition, Douglas County School System is a true leader in school asthma management initiatives.