Walker receives national 2017 Outstanding State School Nurse Consultant Achievement award
Melissa Walker, a consultant with the Iowa Department of Education bureau of nutrition and health services, received the 2017 Outstanding State School Nurse Consultant Achievement Award from the National Association of State School Nurse Consultants (NASSNC), Inc. The NASSNC annually recognizes and honors the contributions and demonstrated excellence of state school nurse consultants.
Walker received the award this summer at the annual NASSNC membership meeting in San Diego, California. She was nominated for the award by Ann Feilmann, bureau chief for the bureau of Nutrition and Health Services at the Iowa Department of Education.
“Melissa shows no apparent fear when tackling big projects and is obviously able to accomplish them to the satisfaction of multiple stakeholders,” Feilmann said in a brief narrative outlining Walker’s exemplary achievements. “She is committed to a high standard of professional ethics which contributes to a high level of integrity in Student Health Services in Iowa Schools.”
Some of the criteria considered in the selection of a winner included:
- Outstanding contributions to NASSNC, state-level development and implementation of policies and school health programs that promote, improve and/or maintain the well-being of students;
- Significant contributions to overcoming barriers to the delivery of quality health care for school-age children and adolescents;
- Development of unique and worthwhile staff development programs for school nurses; active involvement in the development, interpretation and dissemination of relevant research data and other information that impacts the delivery of quality health and nursing services in the school setting;
- And active involvement in the development or passage of important health policy, legislation, regulations or standards that affect the health of students and/or the practice of school nursing
“She demonstrates her passion for student health in all her actions and is excellent at identifying concerns and needs at the local level and then finding solutions,” said Ryan Wise, director of the Iowa Department of Education. “She is very skilled at including all people, outside stakeholders as well as staff across the various Department divisions, to develop guidance that works in the school health setting.”
Walker’s expertise in school nursing is well respected and sought after by leaders in the Iowa School Nurse Organization (ISNO) and many school nurses in Iowa. Department colleagues Carrie Scheidel and Patti Delger describe Walker as “extremely competent, and has an excellent rapport with people from multiple disciplines.”
Sharon Guthrie, executive director of ISNO said, “Melissa is amazing in the sense that she never dampens conversations or suggestions for new resources, ideas, or changes and in turn this is a direct reflection of her value to always strive for evidence-based practices and support of Iowa school nurses.”