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March 30, 2010

Verizon Foundation Grants Funds to Archdiocesan School Nurses

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced today that it has received a grant from the Verizon Foundation, which will equip school nurses across Philadelphia with netbooks for electronic student record keeping. These netbooks will allow the schools' nurses to access the Health eTools for Schools program, a web-based application that promotes health and wellness.

"This grant from Verizon will enable our nurses to work more efficiently in protecting the health of our 30,000 students, and will significantly reduce cumbersome paperwork and file storage," Mary E. Rochford, Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Currently, school nurses must record all student medications and daily visits to their offices, calculate Body Mass Index (BMI) of each student annually and send BMI notifications home to parents and guardians. Nurses also conduct routine health screenings (including hearing, vision, scoliosis, and general physicals) and send screening reports home. This paperwork, mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Department of Education, consumes approximately 80% of a school nurse's day.

"On behalf of Verizon Foundation, we are pleased to partner in the Health eTools for Schools program with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to help empower educators and health care providers with innovative tools and resources to improve the quality of life for students in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia schools", said Gale Y. Given, President of Verizon Pennsylvania." "We're investing in programs that touch people's lives by focusing on health and family safety in the 21st century."

The Verizon Foundation grant will help to provide approximately 35 netbooks for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's school nursing staff, who travel across the school system, to use in streamlining their records and reports electronically. Approximately 30,000 student records will be converted to an electronic format that the nurse can access remotely. Nurses will also have the ability to create automatic notifications to parents that provide test results, BMI measurements and health updates.

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Meredith Wilson
Communications Specialist

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