Testimony of Eileen Duffey to the BOE, November 21, 2019

Dr. Hite, I am seriously questioning your leadership.

You have given extraordinary power to micromanage our school health office  to a member of your cabinet with absolutely no medical credentials with dangerous outcomes for our students.

Were it not for the speaker limit, every nurse in the district would be in line to speak tonight.

We take our students’ health seriously and we take the professional standards under which we practice just as seriously.  The last time I addressed this body, it was  concerning a skyrocketing immunization non- compliance rate due to this person’s illegal directives. With your blessing, this same person was charged to fix a problem she alone created.

We nurses watched aghast as she fumbled through her incredulously concocted fix, replete with the requisite wasting of scarce resources.

One example of the fallout:  the resignation of Dr. Mathurin, our respected director of school health, a female African-American physician with an MD/ PhD degree in public health.

How lucky we were to get her–until she left

 Dr Mathurin terminated employment with this district on October 4, yet this has yet to be announced  publicly.

Talk about a breech of trust in your leadership.

Consequently, we nurses have been administering medication without the legally required standing order, making a mockery of the constraints of our nursing licenses and our profession.

Dr. Hite, we nurses bring extraordinary expertise to the table.

Isn’t it implicit in requiring certified school nurses in  schools that these same nurses would provide such services within the scope of their practice?  In what imaginary world are nurses expected to follow the dictates of some nebulous  “collaboration” with the health department in which there is nothing in writing, and never a signature of even one actual health professional?

Dr. Wilkerson and board members. I need you to do your job as members of the school board and protect our students.Use your oversight authority  to keep these destructive management practices from continuing.

After the immunization debacle, and now with the inability to give pain medication to students one would think things could not get worse. Without your leadership and action to reverse this trend of allowing unlicensed persons to interfere in medical/nursing practice, I assure you new crises will emerge.

Dr Hite, a three minute limit merely scrapes the surface of the wreckage of the school health service department   which I have loved and honorably served for 25 years.

We nurses  INSIST on a functional school health program.

I do not say this lightly Dr. Hite…if you cannot end this fiasco, please step down from your position and wherever you go, please take Karyn Lynch  with you.